F1 Winter Break
Cheery Rubens glad to be back
Cheery Rubens glad to be back
Posted By:   |  09 Mar 2009   |  7:23 pm GMT  |  6 comments

One of the high points of the day was seeing Rubens Barrichello back in the F1 paddock wearing Brawn team gear. Or at least what passes for it at the moment, it’s Henry Lloyd grey sailing wear from the looks of things. No sponsors, it’s all very 1960s really having these unbranded people and an unbranded car.

Anyway, Rubens looks great, pretty thin, like most of the drivers with the new KERS diet a must in 2009. It’s been a tough few months for him, not knowing if the team was going to survive and if it did, whether he’d be part of the plans. Ross Brawn knew that his experience would be vital as the team tries to make up for lost time. Also, frankly, he was faster than Jenson Button quite a few times last year, so he deserves to still be in F1. Jenson admitted that tonight and said that he would be making sure that doesn’t happen again this year!

I asked Rubens whether he expects the team to act differently now that it is no longer Honda. Here’s what he said,

“Is it going to be like a small Stewart family working? It might be a smaller team just working together, not going through too many people to get an answer. It might work in our favour. I think Honda have done brilliantly and I am sorry to see them go, but you have got to say that there is always a culture difference and a difficulty in the language. So it was a tough thing.

“Coming from that tough moment, walking through the desert and not seeing the end – right now we are at the end. So now the smaller team could be an affirmative answer to all the problems. All I wanted to see at the team was what I found at Ferrari – they were really good at winning together and losing together. The team is quite small now, so it could be like that. That is what I am looking forward to working on, and I am sure Ross is in the same boat. That is what makes it a competitive F1 team. It is not going to the press and saying this is bad or this is good, it is about winning together and losing together and working on the problem.”

This is the key to Ross Brawn’s management. He knows from his Ferrari days that a team is like a family and has to be treated like one. He’s tough but he makes sure everyone relies on each other and looks out for each other and without the corporate influence of Honda bearing down on them, with all the attendant politics and expectation, this team can move forward quickly. It’s basically a pretty decent engineering firm that had poor technical leadership. Last year Brawn put that right and now, with a second lease of life, they can move forward, as long as the money lasts.

They may be an independent team, but they are based on a big team infrastructure.

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I am delighted Ross Brawn picked Rubens Barrichello over Bruno Senna.

I have alot of respect for him after making that choice. It would have been very easy for Ross to pick Senna and all the extra sponsorship that would come with him( potentially 10-15 million), but he picked the driver who was likely to do the better job, which is supposed to be the main reason you hire a driver.

Barrichello is still a very quick driver and with his experience will do very well in 2009 with all the changes. Lets remember that he had a fair bit of experience driving on slicks in F1 earlier on in his F1 career.

Last year I thought he drove really well, and worked really hard and remained really positive despite the fact the car was an absolute dog.

As James said in a previous article with the field so tight a few tenths could mean a huge difference. With Senna's inexperience that could have been a big issue.

I am sure Senna's time will come. I think he is very naturally talented, and done well in the little time he has raced on a proffessional level (only since he turned 20 if I remember correctly), but this season Rubens was the better option for Brawn GP in my view.


I agree with Daniel, why drop Rubens for a completley unproven but possibly talented driver? A risk that could not be taken at this time.

Rubens did a great job last season and I am sure he will do an even better one this season. Wouldn't mind the old Stewart drive at Monaco circa 1997 please Rubens.


I think it's a shame Senna did not get the drive, as a spectator it would have been interesting to see what he could have done.

Although Barrichello is the sensible choice for the team he's a known quantity, with Senna there's the unknown and the legendary name to live up to.

Having said that however I have to say I'm pleased that Barrichello has got the drive. He did not deserve to be unceremoniously dropped at the end of last year. If only Brawn GP could run three cars this year! 😉


I agree with what's been said above, I just hope it isn't a year too many for Rubens, hopefully he wont have a season like Coulthard's last year where he just seemed to give up the ghost at the end.

As far as Senna is concerned I enjoyed watching him in GP2 last year, he definitely has talent, will he be there again this year?


You have to remember that Senna will still be around in 12 months. Do we know the length of Ruben's contract?

I wouldn't be surprised if Ruben's experience is here for this year and Senna comes in next year (still carrying that nice purse string for when the Honda money isn't there).


Although I'm an Hamilton fan, I would love to see R B have a WDC, he's one of the jewels in the F1 crown and it would be a fitting tribute to such a great driver, and wonderful sportsman in the twilight of his career.

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