Archive for the ‘Rubens Barrichello’ Category

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Pole for Barrichello, Rain Puts Button 14th

October 17, 2009

Rubens Barrichello took pole in a qualifying session which lasted over two and a half hours, after storms suspended both Q1 and Q2 in Brazil today.

Qualifying two weeks ago in Japan was eventful, and qualifying for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix was just as eventful, with Giancarlo Fisichella aquaplaning at turn two bringing out the red flag early on in Q1, Sebastian Vettel failing to get to Q2, along with Lewis Hamilton who had a spin at turn five. When Q2 finally started, it was Vitantonio Liuzzi’s crash along the pit straight that saw the second red flag of the afternoon, that stopped the clock for over an hour.

It was Jenson Button who lost out in Q2 when it finally got under way, as when the track started to dry out he struggled, failing to put in a fast enough time to get into the top ten shoot out, and he will start tomorrow’s race in 14th.

But while the rain had the biggest say of the day, it was Barrichello who shone through taking pole as the clock stopped in Q3. It looked like it could have been Mark Webber’s, even Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg looked like they could snatch the pole as the track dried out and their lap times got faster, but it was Rubens who delivered in front of his home crowd.

With Button down in 14th, and Vettel down in 16th, it is looking like the championship will be thrown wide open tomorrow, ahead of the last round in Abu Dhabi in two weeks time. All Barrichello needs is five points more than Jenson to keep his hopes alive going into the final round. If they stay where they are, and Barrichello wins, with Button out of the points, there will be just four points between them.

Vettel will need to put in the performance of his life tomorrow to be in with a chance in Abu Dhabi, but it is now looking more and more likely it is just about the two teammates.

The only question is, will it rain tomorrow? And if it does, can Barrichello keep it together when it matters?

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Barrichello Heads Brawn 1-2 in Monza

September 13, 2009

Rubens Barrichello took two more points out of teammate Jenson Button’s championship lead this afternoon, taking victory in a tense Italian Grand Prix, that saw pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton ditch his McLaren on the final lap.

Hamilton took an early lead from pole, putting in fastest lap after fastest lap to pull out a comfortable lead over Kimi Raikkonen, who had snatched second off Adrian Sutil on the first lap. With the front three on a different strategy to the Brawns, Hamilton was the first to pit on lap 15, rejoining the track behind Barrichello and Button in 3rd and 4th respectively.

Lewis regained the lead after both Button and Barrichello pitted for their first and only scheduled stop of the afternoon on laps 28 and 29 respectively. On lap 34, Hamilton was in again having only managed to pull out a 16 second lead over Barrichello. He rejoined behind Button, and it was there that the fight for victory began.

Barrichello had it in the bag, with the one-stop strategy working in the Brawn team’s favour, and it was Button who needed to hold off the charging Hamilton. With the gap down to a second between the two Brits, Rubens had the victory in touching distance on the final lap, while an aggressive Hamilton, hungry to snatch back second, pushed too hard and dropped his McLaren on the exit of the first Lesmo, having just set the fastest time for the first sector, for the whole race.

Hamilton said of the incident: “Every lap I was pushing like a qualifying lap. I was pushing as hard as I could.” He apologised to the fans and to the team for the accident.

Martin Whitmarsh said that Lewis’s accident just showed his aggression to racing, pushing as hard as he could to gain second in the closing stages of the race.

It seemed Brawn chose the perfect strategy for both their drivers, as the two-stoppers of Hamilton, Raikkonen and Sutil, who had all qualified on the front two rows of the grid, failed to maintain their lead when it mattered. Barrichello said of his win: “It feels great, like I said on the lap after the chequered flag. I have no words.” He added: “The car was there all the time, and it felt great.”

Barrichello’s win edges him closer to Button in the drivers standings, with just 14 points now separating the two. Sebastian Vettel, who currently sits third in the standings, is twelve points behind Barrichello, managing to pick up a single point in eighth after Hamilton’s accident. Mark Webber remains fourth in the championship after his race finished on the first lap after a tap from Robert Kubica sent him sideways into the gravel trap.

Prior to the race there had been high hopes for Hamilton’s teammate Heikki Kovalainen, who fuel corrected, would have been on pole. However Heikki, who started fourth with a heavy fuel load, lost out to fifth place starter Barrichello at the beginning of the first lap, and a half a lap later lost fifth to Button in the second Lesmo corner. From there his afternoon remained rather quiet, and he finished sixth, bringing home just three points for the McLaren team.

Kimi Raikkonen filled the final step of the podium following Hamilton’s crash, finishing just ahead of Sutil. Fernando Alonso finished fifth ahead of Kovalainen in sixth, Nick Heidfeld in seventh and Sebastian Vettel in eighth.

As the European leg of the season draws to a close, all eyes are now on the Brawn boys for the final four races of the season. With Button maintaining a comfortable gap of 26 points to third place man Vettel, it is looking more likely that the title fight will be between Button and Barrichello.

 

The next race takes place on the flood-lit streets of Singapore, with qualifying on Saturday 26th September, and the race live on BBC One at 1pm on the 27th.

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Barrichello Scores First Win in Five Years

August 23, 2009

Rubens Barrichello won his first race in five years in Valencia this afternoon, as the perfect strategy saw him snatch the win from McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton made the perfect getaway from pole, and led the race up until the second round of pitstops where an error made by the McLaren mechanics enabled Barrichello to leapfrog the race leader to take victory.

Barrichello had held his nerve up until that point, leapfrogging Heikki Kovalainen running second in the sister McLaren in the first round of pitstops. After spending the second stint hunting down and maintaining the gap to Hamilton, Rubens saw the opportunity to pass him in the second round of stops after the McLaren mechanics failed to get the Briton’s tyres out in time. The error cost Hamilton time, and inevitably the race. Barrichello passed the chequered flag just over three seconds ahead of Hamilton, with Kimi Raikkonen taking the last step on the podium.

Barrichello said: “It has been fantastic. It has been a weekend that I’ll never forget.”

Jenson Button in the sister Brawn, had less luck than his teammate, and a poor getaway saw him lose three places in the first corner. After chasing the Red Bull of Mark Webber for the majority of the race, a quick out lap in the second round of pitstops, coupled with a slow in lap by Webber, saw Button finish seventh, with Webber out of the points in ninth. An engine failure for Sebastian Vettel enables Button to maintain his lead in the drivers’ championship over the Red Bulls, and puts Barrichello back into second place, and 18 points adrift from the Brit.

Kovalainen brought his McLaren home in fourth, having been unable to match his teammate’s pace, and losing third place to Raikkonen. Nico Rosberg finished in fifth, with Fernando Alonso in sixth, Button seventh, and Robert Kubica rounding off the points scorers in eighth.

Barrichello’s win puts the Brazilian back in the hunt for the title, and with six rounds to go, it is becoming more likely that the title fight will once again go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi in November.

Rubens can now head to Belgium next weekend knowing that he has finally got a win under his belt for Brawn, and that the championship can still be his for the taking.

 

The next round will be in Belgium next weekend, with qualifying on Saturday 29th and the race live on BBC One at 1pm on Sunday 30th.

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Brawn’s “Virgin” on ’09 Success

March 29, 2009

As the first race of the new Formula One season took the chequered flag, the 2009 World Championship was officially under-way. And while it was the Brits who triumphed again in Melbourne, it wasn’t the Hamilton-McLaren domination of 2008. No, this year it was the turn of Jenson Button and Brawn Mercedes…

 At 7am local time, as the lights went green on Melbourne’s Albert Park, 20 men hit their accelerators and went racing.  

Leading them was Jenson Button, who three weeks ago, didn’t even know if he would be racing this season, following the Honda Racing team’s pull-out from F1.

The new kids on the grid, Brawn-Mercedes, fronted by the brains of Ross Brawn, managed an astonishing result in their first ever Grand Prix. The team started the race on Sunday with Button on pole and Rubens Barrichello in P2, and despite Sebastian Vettel dominating second place throughout the majority of the race, the British team managed to bring home a one-two, the first time a new team has qualified and finished a race at the top since the French Grand Prix in 1954 when Mercedes-Benz first entered F1.

For entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group, the move to sign a sponsorship deal with the Brackley-based team proved to be the right thing to do as Brawn-Mercedes have dominated since qualifying on Saturday. Branson has revealed he may take over the naming-rights and identity of the team within weeks.

The reigning world champ Lewis Hamilton, who qualified 15th in his McLaren MP4-24, started from 18th on the grid following his first penalty of the season after the Woking-based team changed his gearbox as a precautionary measure. 24-year-old Hamilton perhaps gained the most in the season opener, after finishing in fourth place, following a dramatic end to the race after Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber and Vettel in the Red Bull collided and crashed-out three laps from the chequered flag.

Hamilton’s Finnish teammate, Heikki Kovalainen, who started the race from twelfth, failed to finish the race after a first-corner collision with the Red Bull of Mark Webber, after Barrichello failed to get away cleaning from the grid. The Brazilian’s anti-stall had kicked in allowing Vettel and Kubica, the Williams of Nico Rosberg, and the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen through, before getting caught up with Webber and Kovalainen and the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld and Force India of Adrian Sutil. The Finn subsequently retired from the race.

Lap 19 saw the first safety car of the season after Kazuki Nakajima dropped his Williams and smacked into the wall. By then, Button had built a 47.7s lead over his closest rivals and he saw it reduced to nothing as the safety car remained in the race until the end of lap 24. New rules this year mean that the cars are free to pit during the safety car period and do not need to wait until Race Control open the pitlane, something Button took to his advantage when the safety car was deployed a few laps before his scheduled stop.

As for the Ferraris, neither managed to finish. Massa suffered mechanical problems later on, and Raikkonen retired following a shunt in the wall in the third half of the race.

At the start of lap 55 Vettel and Kubica, who were running second and third respectively, collided on turn three and Kubica subsequently crashed out. Vettel continued, despite his left-front tyre being mangled, but later parked his car on the grass. The safety car was again deployed and remained there until the end of the race.

Button took the chequered flag to claim the second win of his career, followed by teammate Barrichello, who had been fourth prior to the crash. Jarno Trulli, who along with his teammate had started the race from the pitlane, came through in third place in the Toyota, followed by reigning champ Hamilton in fourth. The second Toyota of Timo Glock came through in fifth, with the Renault of Fernando Alonso in sixth and Rosberg in seventh. Rookie Sebastien Buemi took the last of the points-paying positions in eighth.

Button’s victory marked the 200th Formula One victory for a British driver. In the press conference after the race he said the win was not just for him, but the whole team; he dubbed it the “fairytale ending” to their first race as a team.

 

Following the race, the stewards investigated an incident involving third place Jarno Trulli, who had run off the track behind the safety car in the final stages of the race. Hamilton had taken the position off the Toyota driver, who then claimed it back. The stewards handed Trulli a 25 second penalty for passing under waved yellow flags.

 

For the McLaren team, who have struggled with the grip of their car since testing, a third place and six points for Hamilton are a welcomed reward. For Brawn-Mercedes, the reward is huge considering their non-existence just weeks ago.

 

With the new season finally under-way, and with the grid mixed-up, this year is set to be more exciting than before, where it really can be anyone’s for the taking.

 

 

The next round is in Malaysia next weekend, with qualifying at 10am on Saturday and the race live on BBC One at 10am on Sunday.