Brawn GP hail Barrichello's performance
Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello won the 2009 European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit today. The Brazilian, scoring his tenth victory in Formula One and the 100th Grand Prix victory for a Brazilian driver, started from third on the grid and drove an aggressive and determined race to take the chequered flag in his Brawn-Mercedes car. Team-mate Jenson Button came home in seventh place adding a valuable two points to his lead in the Drivers’ Championship.
Rubens had a good start and kept close to Heikki Kovalainen for his first stint, staying out for an additional three laps prior to his first stop which enabled him to jump ahead of the McLaren. A strong middle stint, trading quick lap times with his rival for the win, Lewis Hamilton, saw Rubens get ahead of the Brit at his second pit stop. From there, he was able to control the gap and bring his Brawn-Mercedes car home after 57 laps for an emotional and well-deserved victory.
Jenson had a difficult start and was caught behind Sebastian Vettel which dropped him to eighth position on the first lap. He was then forced to concede a place to Mark Webber after missing a chicane. His chance to jump the Red Bull came at his second stop when a quick pit stop and a superb out-lap moved him up into seventh place to claim the two points.
After ten races, Brawn GP lead the Constructors’ Championship with 126 points with Jenson leading the Drivers’ Championship with 72 points and Rubens in second place with 54 points.
Rubens Barrichello: “What a fantastic day. I am so delighted with the win after what was a really tough race out there. It’s just amazing and a weekend that I will never forget. Even after five years, you don’t forget how to win and the feeling is so good! Although we were fuelled heavier than the McLarens, I knew that I would have to push really hard throughout the race. My engineer Jock was great today, he really encouraged me and helped me to maintain the pace, and the team did a fantastic job with two excellent pit stops. I want to thank everyone who has supported me and this victory is dedicated to the whole of Brazil but particularly to my great friend Felipe Massa. I hope he is back racing against me soon.”
Jenson Button: “Rubens did a great job this weekend and he deserves the victory. Its been a long time so Im happy for him although of course I would rather be on top of the podium. The small mistake in qualifying and a difficult start caught behind Vettel really cost me today as I got caught in traffic and it’s really tough to overtake around this circuit. Still we did what we came for this weekend and beat the Red Bulls, our main title rivals, so I’m not too disappointed with seventh position. We’ll go to the next race in Spa positive and ready to have a good race.”
Ross Brawn: “That was a fantastic performance from Rubens today to take his first and Brawn GP’s seventh win of the season. We knew that having a heavier fuel load would give us an advantage over the cars in front but Rubens had to drive at his absolute best to have a chance of victory. He pushed exactly where he needed to. When we got on the radio and told him that he had to put in some quick laps, he delivered. It was a great performance and an extremely well-deserved victory. We’re all delighted for him. Unfortunately it wasn’t such a good afternoon for Jenson who had a quick car but was caught in traffic which prevented him from achieving the result that he could have done. In hindsight perhaps we should have been more aggressive in qualifying but his two points today are valuable and we have increased our lead in both Championships. Thanks and credit is due to everyone at the track today and at the factory in Brackley for all their hard work over the past couple of weeks and to our colleagues at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth for their dedication and the performance of our engine.”