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Pit lane applauds Barrichello win
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Pit lane applauds Barrichello win
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Aug 2009   |  3:22 pm GMT  |  32 comments

Rubens Barrichello won the European Grand Prix at Valencia, putting to an end a five year winless streak. A year ago it was being suggested that his career might be over, but he triumphed in style at Valencia with a determined, consistent performance. It was the 100th win for a Brazilian driver in F1 and it brought him to second place, 18 points behind Jenson Button, who was seventh today, in the world championship.

When he drove down the pit lane to parc ferme most of the teams came out of their garages to applaud him, a sight rarely seen in Formula 1.

After the race he said that his friend Felipe Massa, who missed the race through injury, had given him some tips on racing lines and that this had helped him. All weekend Barrichello wore a logo on his crash helmet wishing Massa well.

Barrichello followed Heikki Kovalainen in the opening stint, but once past him he put pole sitter Lewis Hamilton under intense pressure. It would have been close as to which would be in front after the second stops but then a mix-up with the team turned the race. When he was already committed to the pit lane, he was told to do an extra lap but he opted not to, reasoning that he would lose too much time if he tried to continue. As a result the mechanics were not ready with the tyres and so the stop took 18 seconds, handing putting the win for Barrichello beyond doubt.

Kimi Raikkonen drove a very strong race to finish 3rd from 6th on the grid. His first target was to keep Rosberg behind him and then to reel in Kovalainen with a view to passing him at the second stops. He did it comfortably to claim his second podium in a row.

Kovalainen was fourth, managing to hold Nico Rosberg behind him, the Williams driver putting in another very strong drive to the points.

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32 Comments
  1. Pranav Haldea says:

    James

    I’m an avid follower of this blog…Really like your perspectives on issues facing the sport. In this regard, can you please take up the cause of getting tracks such as Valencia off the calendar!!

    The tracks that offer interesting races are going down year on year. Malaysia, China, Bahrain, Turkey…all these new tracks designed by Mr. Herman Tilke have produced dull races year after year under there is some interruption from the weather gods…Wide run off areas ensure that even a driver like Nelson Piquet could live to see the end of races with all the antics he was capable of producing…

    Add to the tracks above, tracks like Hungary, Monaco, Valencia, Singapore…and you have almost a season full of dull races with minimal or no overtaking..

    Silverstone, one track that has produced great races over the years is also now getting off the calendar..

    Its time this issue is taken more seriously…I live in New Delhi which is likely to have an F1 race in 2011. And I really do hope its not Mr. Tilke designing this one!!

    Cheers
    Pranav

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks, I’ll look into that

    2. Bartlomiej Garbiak says:

      Silverstone changed into a borefest either, thanks to limited engine revs. I fear the same will happen to Spa and Monza.

    3. Racing not politics says:

      I couldn’t agree more, this is the only race I don’t mind missing. I listend on the radio whilst fishing instead of being glued to my TV with live timing open on the laptop.

      Last year’s race here was a procession and this year’s was no different. Other than at the start and in pit stops was there a genuine racing overtaking move? I doubt it.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Not sure who I would be happier to see win the championship- Barrichello or Button?

    Both deserve it and have been waiting for a long time!

  3. knoxploration says:

    Great race, James! I’d be curious to know where the problem actually was with Hamilton’s stop, though.

    You say he was committed to the pit lane, then say he opted not to do an extra lap.

    Was Hamilton already past the point where he could bypass his pitstop without driving the length of the pitlane when he received the order to do another lap (ie. the team was at fault), or did he ignore an order to stay out one more lap when he still had a chance to bypass the pit entry (ie. it was his own fault)? It’d definitely be interesting from the fans’ perspective to know…

  4. travis says:

    first of all congratulations to rubens for his win, he deserved it.
    mclaren squandered victory today though…and a great race for kimi he really kept the ferrari shoulders high…never got far off the leaders and when the chance came..moved up and got the podium
    now who says that he’s finished and has no motivation left
    he’s achieved 2 podiums in a row, atleast now it should shut up a few people who are going for his head all the time.

  5. Andy says:

    So when Whitmarsh was flannelling after the race, talking complete nonsense to claim the mistake had no effect on the race result, he was actually protecting Hamilton?

  6. Babur Majid says:

    “As a result the mechanics were not ready with the tyres and so the stop took 18 seconds…”

    The pit stop blunder cost Hamilton 13.4 seconds, not 18s.

  7. JonathanLegard is the greatest!!! says:

    After watching this race i’ve come to the conclusion that kovi is possibly the worst ever formula 1 driver. he must be sacked from the team immediately!!! kovi couldn’t even delay barrichello before the 1st round of pit stops & yesterday after quali he was blabbing about mounting a challenge for a win. this guy is as useless badoer, maybe its a bit unfair for me to compare him with badoer, after all he’s racing after 10 long years. kovi is just not F1 material. After almost 2 years with mclaren. all he has to show is , a lucky podium at malasyia & a lucky win at hungary. This guy just doesn’t have it in him to take on formula 1 drivers.

    1. Eric says:

      In Kovalainen’s defense, his car was (as McLaren said) 0.2 seconds per lap at most slower than Hamilton’s. He finished 20 seconds back after ~60 laps, so that’s ~12 seconds lost. However, Hamilton did have a problem. Moreover, I think McLaren made a large tactical blunder in giving Heikki the hurry-up for this race, where this is the one race they could have won by asking him to be slower in the first stint and hold Rubens up. Also, there aren’t many drivers in F1 faster than Hamilton.

    2. Martin Collyer says:

      Bit harsh that J.L.etc, do you remember Phillipe Adams, Giovanni Lavaggi, Yuje Ide?

      However, I agree that Heikki is not quite there if you are looking for wins/podiums.

    3. artorwar says:

      Really thats total nonsense mate. Most drivers couldn’t live with the pace of Rubens or Lewis and Rubens had one of the best races of his long and illustrious career. Fuel corrected Kovi was quicker than Ham in quali. You are spouting rubish. So he’s not WDC material, this may be true, but once upon a time no one would have thought Felipe could fight for a title and we’ve seen that happen. Like I said, just plain wrong.

      1. Martin Collyer says:

        To ArtorWar. Not sure if you are responding to Jonathan Legard is the Greatest or me but here goes anyway!!

        2008, Hamilton, Massa, Raikkonen 98,97,75 points respectively. Kovalainen 53 points, he hasn’t robbed the Ferrari drivers of too many points has he?

        2009 Hamilton 27 points, Kovalainen 14 points!!

        Agree that H.K. is good in qualifying and that’s essential these days, but if you don’t turn a good qualifying into a result and rob your main rivals of big points it’s not really working is it?

        Martin Whitmarsh has mentioneed this as an area for improvement recently.

        So he might be a late developer like Massa but it’s not happening for H.K. at McLaren.

  8. David Brown says:

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the thorough and concise updates, and can I say that this is well deserved win for Rubens. He did the business today.

    A questions on Jenson though…it is a ‘are but what if?’

    Jenson nearly pulled off an overtake on Alonso, if he had, what would have happened over the chicane jumping? He would then have had Alonso inbetween him and Webber. He then wouldn’t have been able to let Webber through.

    It seems they took a long time to tell/order him to let Webber through, I thought it had to be virtually instantaneous??

  9. Cabby says:

    I know someone in the pitlane who did not applaud in this instance. Directly after the race German TV interviewed Michael Schumacher whether he wasn’t happy for former teammate Rubens Barichello to win this race. His answer evaded the subject Barrichello completely, saying that he was naturally happy for Ross Brawn to have another victory, not a single word about Rubens let alone congratulations. Apparently those to aren’t on speaking terms with each other and about each other.

    1. rko281 says:

      …which just makes it doubly disappointing that Schumacher didn’t race. Imagine how much sweeter Rubens’ victory would have been if he’d also beaten Michael…

  10. Red Kimi says:

    I had to laugh when RB said Massa gave him advice on racing lines…. RB is the oldest driver on the grid, with the most GP’s in history. I would be embarrassed to say something like that…. I think he is hamming this up a bit

  11. VV says:

    That must be the most boring race I’ve seen in ages. Utterly dull. Other than Button early in the race, was there any overtaking at all?

    James: why oh why does this drab, featureless race feature in the F1 calendar? It’s not a particularly interesting circuit, and both races thus far at the venue have been soporific beyond compare. Do the powers-that-be think that this projects a good image for the sport? Imagine it next year, when there might be fewer pit stops, thanks to the end of refuelling.

    I thought Whitmarsh was being a bit evasive and defensive during the post-race interview on the BBC. Is he coming up with his own form of Ron-speak?

    Rubens was brilliant and thoroughly deserved his win. Hamilton was as good as ever, and once more, Kimi and Nico were very impressive.

    As for Badoer: the only car he beat was Nakajima, and not on merit. Oh dear.

  12. C.M. says:

    Like Babur Majid said already earlier, didn’t Hamiltons pit stop last 13.4 seconds not 18? I remember they fueled him to around 10 seconds, that must mean he lost some 4 seconds only cause of the mistake. I think Rubens would have had that 4 seconds back with 2 laps. I really think even when all would have been perfect at Hamilton pit stop, he would have still got behind Rubens after the last stop.

    Also like mentioned earlier, I also have a feeling Kovalainen doesn’t deserve a McLaren ride. Rosberg would do a better job.

  13. Carl M says:

    Great drive from Rubens Barrichello. His 10th career victory and deservedly so. There’s another season left in him. Whether it’s at Brawn or another team I don’t know. Williams would be a good bet.

    As for Kimi, he drove a great race. Got a good start like the one at Hungary. 3 podiums this season, done a good job considering the car isn’t no where near Brawn, Red Bull or Mclaren. Ferrari must keep him for 2010. Why pay his contract out when he can do a better job than Alonso?

    Luca Badoer, was like watching James May off Top Gear drive the ferrari. Time for ferrari to invest in young talented test drivers.

    1. GuiGeek says:

      Actually James May is the best driver out of the 3 Top Gear presenters. Watch the episode with Jackie Stewart, he says so himself.

      I think also that now Badoer has driven for Ferrari and has had his dream come true, they should take some young blood like…Senna? Seeing that name in a Ferrari would be really intense.

  14. Bartlomiej Garbiak says:

    I enjoyed the race. Yes, there were no overtaking manoeuvres, but the whole pack was so tight together, which made the pitstop tactics crucial.

    1. artorwar says:

      I’m with you on that one, it wasn’t a mind bending game of dogems but it was a good solid Sunday afternoon and with a few tweaks they could surely make this a really good circuit.

  15. Werewolf says:

    Pitstops aside, this race was little more impressive than last year’s. I have to agree with those who have commented already that Valencia is not a valued addition to the calendar. Good news that Suzuka will be around for a few more years, though.

    It is interesting to ponder who did what today in terms of their futures. Clearly, Barrichello pressed the right buttons, while Raikkonen, Rosberg and possibly Kubica also increased their stock. Conversely, Kovalainen was very disappointing for a man under pressure, neither delaying Barrichello nor appearing to really go for it. Brawn, McLaren and Williams must all be increasing their appeal to the better drivers, as perhaps did Force India. Toyota, with poor performance and a publicly unconfirmed budget are making things very difficult for themselves.

    Button seemed anonymous today, after things went pear-shaped on the opening lap. There was some evidence of speed and he did get ahead of Webber before initially closing down Alonso but more is needed if he is to win the title; and from his post-race interview for the BBC, he seems to acknowledge this. I suspect also that the nature of this particular “boring street circuit” (Webber) did not help once he was in traffic. Roll on Spa!

  16. niceguyrichy says:

    congrats to Rubens, rather fitting that the other Brazillian on the grid won it with the tribute on his helmet :)
    I see that Ferrari have confirmed that Badoer fella for Spa, what are they playing at James?
    there’s rewarding loyalty, then there’s taking the p!ss. I’m not the biggest Ferrari fan in the world, but if I was I’d be tee’d off that they’re sticking with an old man who will undoubtedly be running round the back of the grid again..

  17. Racing not politics says:

    Great to see other teams applauding Rubens, he is certainly a v popular winner

  18. alvinkhorfire says:

    Shouldn’t Massa give the same tips on racing line also to Kimi just to be fair?

  19. Andy says:

    Is it possible that Ferrari is giving the race seat to Badoer exactly because he has a great deal of experience of testing? That is, is Ferrari using the race weekends to do tests for their next years car? In that case it is quite understandable that they would use their very experienced test driver to fill Felipe’s shoes, even if the race results are poor. Any inside information on this, James?

    1. James Allen says:

      Many teams will be testing components which have 2010 applications, yes, but you use your race drivers for that.

      1. Andy says:

        Of course you use your race drivers for that under normal conditions. I was mainly wondering if the mentality at Ferrari was such that since they have lost any chances for either championship this year, and because of the unfortunate accident, better to let the experienced test driver to use the races to do tests for next year’s car instead of hiring a freelancer who could bring some extra points but who would not be able to help with developing the 2010 car as much as Badoer can.

  20. john g says:

    it’s really nice that the cars (on the podium at least) travel down the pitlane after the race, with all the mechanics standing out and applauding their drivers. they should do it at every race, instead of taking them into parc ferme right at the start of the pitlane. that’s about the only positive thing i can say about valencia as a race venue (although they do have the ricardo tormo circuit as well as the concrete lined carpark…)

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