Barrichello unhappy after more car trouble (Turkish Grand Prix round-up)

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Gearbox trouble left Barrichello languishing in the pack
Gearbox trouble left Barrichello languishing in the pack

Wrapping up the Turkish Grand Prix coverage at F1 Fanatic, here’s a look back at the rest of the weekend’s stories.

Including Rubens Barrichello’s concerns about his reliability, what went wrong for Fisichella and the other changes to the cars.


After the race the British newspapers were full of Lewis Hamilton’s remarks that the team might as well scrap the MP4/24 and start again.


Felipe Massa’s hopes of a fourth win at Istanbul came to nought, but he thinks Ferrari are making progress despite not being as close to the frotn as in Monaco:

I think maybe we are still more competitive compared to a few teams, but Red Bull and Brawn are still better than us. Not so much, but a little bit that makes a good difference in the end.


Nick Heidfeld complained of strange problems with his car:

As early as the formation lap I realised the car pulled to one side and the front left tyre had no grip at all. It stood still when I tapped the brakes softly.

The F1.09 finally had a double-decker diffuser and Robert Kubica broke his points duck.


Fernando Alonso reckons the team are now the seventh-fastest on the grid.


Timo Glock, Toyota, Istanbul, 2009
Timo Glock, Toyota, Istanbul, 2009

The TF109s ran with new rear-wing endplates.


Williams brought a revised front wing for the FW31. Kazuki Nakajima’s slow pit stop was blamed on a faulty “wheel nut retention device”.

Red Bull

Christian Horner confirmed the team are bringing more developments to the RB5 at Silverstone as they strive to catch Brawn:

We have got another upgrade coming for Silverstone, and other developments on the pipeline. We will keep pushing as hard as we can and Silverstone is a high-speed track, hopefully we can push the Brawns a bit harder there.

Force India

Adrian Sutil said he didn’t have any problems with his car despite being hit by Rubens Barrichello early in the race.

Giancarlo Fisichella’s race ended due to brake failure. It was the team’s first mechanically-induced retirement this year. Fisichella said:

I have had a few problems with the braking this weekend. We changed all the brake systems to see if it made any difference but it was actually worse today as the car was almost completely locked. I had a good start and in the beginning of the race I was quite competitive with the cars around me but then unfortunately the brake pedal was getting longer and longer and we decided to come back in to the pits.

We tried to see if we could get back out again but in the end it was very risky and we had to retire.


Jenson Button, Brawn, Istanbul, 2009
Jenson Button, Brawn, Istanbul, 2009

Ross Brawn explained Rubens Barrichello’s car was retired:

On Rubens’ side, we had a problem with his clutch off the start line which was similar to that which we experienced at the opening race in Melbourne. In attempting to recover and get off the grid, the transmission was over-torqued. As his race progressed, it became increasingly evident that this had caused a serious problem with the gearbox and we retired the car whilst the damage was contained.

Immediately after the race an unhappy Barrichello complained that these problems seem to occur more often on his side of the garage:

The one that I had on the start – same as Australia, when I dumped the clutch the anti-stall came in and it was the wrong calculation for the clutch once again on my side. […] It’s just frustrating because it has been happening too much on my side.

Both Brawns ran with a new front wing.

Share any other interesting developments from the Turkish Grand Prix you’ve read about in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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59 comments on “Barrichello unhappy after more car trouble (Turkish Grand Prix round-up)”

  1. Could Barrichello’s problems be the age old reason of how hard he may be on his cars?
    Or could it be a conspiracy? Both Button and Schumacher had better reliability in their cars than Rubens.

    1. Williams 4ever
      9th June 2009, 12:40

      Both Button and Schumacher had better reliability in their cars than Rubens.

      In Ferrari Years after Rubens joined the team, the Ferrari car rarely had any mechanical woes and retirements due to mechanical faliure. It was mostly MS-RB 1-2 , if MS had troubles team gave RB winning strategy.
      Ferrari hit first road block with one tyre rule and when Michael Retired in Suzuka’06 that was Ferrari’s first retirement due to reliability in four years. So your point doesn’t make sense.

      Of course out here the situation is quite clear. While Brawn and Button want Barichello as Setup drivers on Friday, he is not the team’s preferred man on Sunday Period. Hasn’t it become a Pattern this season that Rubens is on Money and confident till Friday evening and Jenson struggling with car setup till Friday evening and then all of sudden Car Fairy visits Button’s Garage and Saturday Morning Button is on Song… Reminds me of 2007 season when Hamilton used to be on Song Saturday FP onwards( read after copying Alonso’s setup)

  2. Barrichello has become a grumpy old man which is great for the bbc as they make that program.
    F1 needs a mid season test weekend for the sake of competition.

  3. Could be that Rubens isn’t suggesting that the team is biased, but rather that his engineers are making mistakes more often than Jenson’s.

    1. Good point; esentially he’s implying that his engineers lack skill, integrity, or both. I doubt that is going to help matters…

      1. Or he’s admitting he’s making too many errrors off the start

        1. Bigbadderboom
          9th June 2009, 18:07

          Thats how i read and heard his comments, by saying there are too many mistakes being made on his side, he’s refering to himself as these are driver errors, thats why he finds it frustrating as it’s his own fault.

  4. Button has Brawn’s A-team. Crew chiefs, mechanics are no more interchangeable than drivers are. Same was true when he was number two to Schumacher.

    1. I agree, the team effect is a significant factor.

      Also the BBC coverage discussed Barrichellos’ lacking in the clutch management area of his driving, maybe this car highlights his poor clutch control more than he would like. The knock on effect of course is the overtorqued gearbox, he has nobody to pin the blame on but himself for that problem.

      Another point I would like to make is about his ‘forceful’ driving as he himself has described it. Shoving other cars out of the way via a physical shunt seems to be another part of his skill set that has been highlighted this season. I for one don’t approve and I’m sure the other drivers don’t like being hit by a rampaging Barrichello either.

      1. Barichello can say what he likes , but he just lacks the little edge that seperates a very good driver from a championship winning driver . I did not think Button had it in him either , but so far this year , he has been faultless , granted the car is superb , but he has not made mistakes whereas Barichello has.

  5. This appears to be the case all through the pit lane. One car is good, or even wonderful, and the other one is rubbish (a bit like the drivers).
    Are the teams saving money already by not hiring decent staff this year? (Or at least only getting decent staff for one of their drivers?).
    Or is it just the way of life that one driver is always luckier in all things than the other?
    I have a strange feeling that Silverstone may not go Jenson’s way at all, and that his luck might run out…..

    1. Williams 4ever
      9th June 2009, 12:45

      Are the teams saving money already by not hiring decent staff this year? (Or at least only getting decent staff for one of their drivers?).

      This has always been the case not just this year. Remember 2005 season when after winning first race for Renault Fisichella had record number of “Anti Stall” kicking in every other pitstop, while “favored” one always had smooth pit-stops, a year back in 2004 Trulli and Alonso were both having same “luck” till finally Trulli got team its first win ahead of Alonso in Monaco. Next race onwards Trulli had “mysterious” issues every race, till he was punted out.

      F1 has never ever been “Ideal” where both drivers got identical equipment, strategy support and team support…

  6. Barrichello is cry baby

    1. Lol, a good, deep analysis of the situation!

      1. Exactly, After each race look at his face. LOL. He try to create conspiracy and every time team has to explain situation in front of media.

        1. He is just paranoid with the years he has spent at Ferrari. Anyone would be…

          1. He should make the most of his winning car now. Now is his chance to ammend the Ferrari years.

  7. It could just be the case that one driver is harder on the car than his team mate.

    Does anyone remember when Button and Sato were teammates at Honda a few years ago and the engine kept failing after a pit stop yet it affected Sato a lot more than it did Button. I think I remember them saying it was down to something that Sato did differently to Button.

  8. Yes it is definitely true that teams always have a good n bad team. its definitely conspiracy i think, cos there is just too much coincidences. The Schumacher-Rubens days were like that since it was clear that Schummi wasthe number one driver there. But i think he deserved it for all that he’s done for ferrari n that he was truly talented. It is happening all the time,but sometimes my guess it that it is who the team boss likes and not driver’s competency that matters. Other than Rubens in Brawns this year, what do u think of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in Red Bull, with the preference in Webber’s favor. I’ve been wondering why it is that Red Bull claims they are behind Vettel’s title challenge but Webber always seem to get the more reliable car, better parts and most alarmingly, Webber always seem to get the right strategy while everything consistently goes wrong for Vettel??

  9. Rubens has disappointed me this season. I know he’s had car troubles and a bit of bad luck, but the way he’s been driving is what I might expect from Buemi/Nakajima, at the Aus and Turkey races anyway.

  10. What I think is that talent of driver make him number 1 driver and number 2 driver. Button and Shummi are not relatives of Brawn. It is their talent which makes them number 1 (even if team is preferring Button over Barrichello and I think this is not the case)

  11. On the face of it , it seems like Rubens is a whinger , in that he was complaining being MADE no.2 to Schumacher , now it seems he cannot compete with Button , and he is hinting that he has inferior equipment. But when I think about it , take some top drivers , like Kimi , Fernando and Lewis , they just cannot win without the top equipment – so it comes down to the fact that F1 today has definitely become much more about the car than the driver , and in that respect , Rubens driving the presumably identical car to Jenson , may well have issues with equipment which is not so well prepared , the reasons for which we may never really know. Then again , Ross Brawn is not known as “the master strategist” for nothing.

  12. How much ever he tries not become one.Barichello ends up being a sidekick.It is some peoples fate.I think he was ,he is and always will be a sidekick.

    1. Aye, Rubens and Coulthard, great no.2s but nothing more.

      …and I’m a Scot.

      1. But Coulthard also had years when he was beating his team-mates:

        Coulthard 36 pts. (2 wins), 4th in the WDC
        Hakkinen 26 pts. (1 win), 7th in the WDC

        Coulthard 65 pts. (2 wins), 2th in the WDC
        Hakkinen 37 pts. (1 win), 5th in the WDC

        Coulthard 41 pts. (1 wins), 5th in the WDC
        Raikkonen 24 pts., 6th in the WDC

        1. The problem with these kind of stats, and I know as I’ve often compared Jenson & Rubens like that, is that you don’t get the whole picture of the year.

          In all 3 examples there was a dominant team, Williams (’97) and Ferrari. How many retirements was there, how many due to car failure, or pushing too hard to catch the dominant cars? Were his teammates crashing out while chasing down the leaders, was the car breaking due to pushing too hard, was Coulthard just bringing it home (as he always did).

          What counts is that Hakkinen & Raikonnen are World Champions, and did so when they got the opportunity. Coulthard has had more than one opportunity, very close on one occasion, but never quite managed it. Don’t get me wrong, DC is a great driver, like Rubens, Massa, maybe Heidfeld, but just not quite top drawer.

          Is Jenson?? …so far you would have to say so, but time will tell.

          1. I agree with you. I didn’t really say it’s otherwise. I mean that if you’re good and try hard, you always have a chance to beat your team-mate in a season’a perspective.

          2. Always the bridesmaid never the bride….

            DC beat most of his Red Bull team mates too but no one cares about that, I don’t.

            Hakkinen and Schumacher both had special relationships with their teams and while DC may have beaten Hakkinen in ’01 he was never the man at McLaren. When you look at the cold stats you can say that Irvine beat Schumacher in ’99.

  13. Rubens is not the worlds best starter lets face it. Rubens knew this was an important start, he knew there was a real chance to get ahead of Jenson, the pressure was on and if there was anywhere he was going to mess it up it was here. Across all the teams he has driven for he has had more than his fair share of bad starts, it can’t always be the car. EJ made reference to it, RB is just not good on the car… and I think his lack of sympathy on the car has an impact on the reliability.

    Schumi was smooth with the car, he looked after it, nursed it home. Jenson is doing exactly the same, more so I would say. Of course the car is going to be more reliable and last longer.

    All this conspiracy talk is nonsense, there is no need for any conspiracy.

  14. Rubens is a crying little bitch. the team give him a great car this season and he is still on the moan, nearly after every race. I can confidently predict this is his final season with Brawn.

    1. Will he be able to continue the season either????

  15. Bubens has had some bad luck this season (technical failure or team’s failed strategy), but it is a fact that if he tries too hard – he failes.
    I guess it’s always that he’s either below his limit or he’s on the limit and loses it in the process.

    What is the race Bubens always gives his absolute best??
    It’s obviously his home race in Brasil. Now, just look at his results in Brasil since the beginning of his career:

    93 retired
    94,95,96,97,98,99,00,01,02,03 – retired
    04 3th
    05 6th
    06 7th
    07 retired
    08 15th

    12 retirements in 16 races, and only one podium finish.
    From 1994 to 2003, in 10 consecutive seasons, he never even finished the race (despite driving in 4 of them in a Ferrari).
    I’ve seen at least half of the races he didn’t finish, and they were usually his best races of the season (especially before his Ferrari stint). But the closer he was to scoring a podium or perhaps even aiming at a win, the more probable it was that he wouldn’t finish the race.
    This is not bad luck.

  16. Sorry, he was 4th in 1994. So it’s 11 ret in 16 races.
    And it was a streak of 9.

  17. Love how this feeling of not wanting Jensen to be praised for his efforts is laughable. Its plain to see that he has seized the day, this is probably the best opportunity any driver has had to claim a victorious championship for many years since schumacher, and back then he was in the dominant car for years. The fact that Jensen stepped up to the task immediately without hesitation and with instant success is proof that he is the top class driver i knew he was all along.

    Heck, what we forget here is that every single one of these drivers is top f their class, these are a selection of the best 20 single-seater racing drivers in the world, each one has won many championships in the lower ranks before making their way into F1 and in the case of Jensen, dealt with rubbish cars without any disdain or dissatisfaction to their teams. His attitude towards it all and his commitment to his friends and team-mates proves he is an asset to the sport, and in particular another role model for young people to aspire to. He is never rude, always smiles, well spoken and above all the kind of person you want to be world champion. Add to that that his driving style is the smoothest ever seen on TV and you have a winning formula, just a shame he didn’t get the opportunity that Hamilton had last couple of years.

    All in all he is a far better role model for young people than say Wayne Rooney or any other overpaid footballer with wasps in the mouth and a penchant for sexual assault and general drnken boozery.

    No i say hear hear to jensen. Rubens has the SAME chance as him, and is not capitolising, often qualifying with a lap or two less fuel and a tenth or so slower… who is better?? results speak for themselves.

    1. I would just like to see him under the sort of pressure Hamilton took during his first two years in F1. Jensen has no one to give him any pressure, Rubens just blows it when things don’t go his way. Vettel, Webber and RBR are a couple of thenths down on Brawn GP and the others are no where.

      1. Williams 4ever
        9th June 2009, 13:00

        I would just like to see him under the sort of pressure Hamilton took during his first two years in F1.

        – Ohh you are talking about the pressure of coaxing uncle ron to get Alonso’s car setup and fueling Team-mate to brim so that he didn’t challenge him at race start.. aah some pressure for the fragile soul :P

    2. Williams 4ever
      9th June 2009, 12:56

      Its plain to see that he has seized the day,

      Ohh and don’t forget the setups seized from other side of garage ;)

  18. I like Bar, always have, but he might be a little harder on the car i admit.

    it’s always the case with the No2 drivers. Piquet for instance, he gets more problems with his car than Alonso, kovalianen more than Hamilton. i think it’s also got to do with the engineers that take care of the No2 chassis with respect to the prime team…. in any case i think that theory is also hard to believe in a sport like f1, but it’s always the number 2 guy that gets it first….

    it might be their attitude towards their diminutive positions that they attract so much bad luck….

    1. Williams 4ever
      9th June 2009, 13:02

      kovalianen more than Hamilton

      – Ohh yes he fuels his own car during qualifiers and loads wrong tyres on his car during pit-stops as well I guess…

  19. I’m annoyed at Rubens. He is the one thats made this championship bad. He had his big chance to be the best and put the number 2 years behind him but he’s been useless. They should get rid of him next year certainly

  20. The 2 lines on the bottom of the Toyota back wing make it look like its a little flappy curtain been stuck on the back

    1. yeah, you’re right – it looks silly. Notice there is some extra horizontal part on top of the shark fin as well.

      From the start of the season the cars have been aquirying more and more aerodynamic stuff on them. And it looks uglier and uglier.

      1. Yes, I thought banning aero would make the cars look nicer. Why are they allowed to have all this stuff on!!

  21. The thing is Barrichello sucks big time. I was hoping for him to win this season because back home (Brasil) everyone was ridiculing him and putting all their hopes on Massa to be the new Senna and I’d enjoy if the old loser was able to shut everyone up. But he’s just hopeless. He has this year’s best car and still is struggling to be ahead of the RBRs. And I mean, thinking back on the Button-Sato days, Sato had me rooting for him much more than Button did. I’m not saying Sato is a better driver than Button, but… wait, yes, I am. Sato kicks Button’s ass. Give that car to anyone who doesn’t have serious mental and arms problems (Rubens) and that man will win a lot of races.

    1. I agree with everything you just said. Barrichello isn’t putting up a fight to Jenson and it’s very annoying. I’m sick of the oldies who have completed the high points in there career taking up all the room in F1. Trulli OUT, Fissi OUT, Rubens OUT!

      1. Thank you.
        Though I think I almost disagree with you on the Trulli part. I mean, he’s exactly the same as he was in his first years. He’s just the guy you don’t want to get behind because he knows how to defend a position. Age hasn’t changed anything in him.

  22. I’ve always liked rubens, even though he is getting on in years, but I’ve been dissappointed in him so far. I can understand him being upset watching his team mate walk away with the championship when he can’t match the performance, but he needs to shut up and drive. NOW. At the same time, I didn’t realize how many barichello haters there were out there…

  23. I have great respect for Rubens due to his seemingly genial personality and his veteranship. He won some great victories at Ferrari and some of those victories were because he out-drove the great Michael Schumacher, they weren’t all gifted. However his ‘whinging’ is now starting to irritate me. As far as I’m concerned there is NO conspiracy. Jenson is just doing what needs to be done and Rubens is not. Case closed. Reliability issues?…just part of the game.

    I’m not quite with TommyB regarding turfing out the oldies as I think Trulli’s still got a lot of racing left in him and I still think Rubens deserves his seat. Fisichella on the other hand never had any ‘racing’ to begin with and should have been out on his ear years ago, the bellend. Never liked him…..but hey that’s just my opinion :-)

    1. At least you can agree about Fissi. I think the smaller teams should be for new talent to work there way up to the big teams.

      But people like Fissi go to a lower team to stay in F1 for ages longer and stop new guys coming in.

      1. As long as Sutil cannot beat Fisi, maybe it’s not such a bad idea to have an experienced driver besides the rookie (although Sutil should have outgrown his rookie status a few years ago already)

  24. ‘His attitude towards it all and his commitment to his friends and team-mates proves he is an asset to the sport, and in particular another role model for young people to aspire to. He is never rude, always smiles, well spoken and above all the kind of person you want to be world champion. Add to that that his driving style is the smoothest ever seen on TV and you have a winning formula’

    p.s. Nicely said graigchq!!!!

    1. I agree that he is a nice guy. I don’t like his driving style, I find it boring I like crazy driving! :-D

      He’s a nice guy who would be a good champion just a shame there is no fight for it this year.

    2. All the mess about Williams x BAR? 2 contracts signed simultaneously?
      Role model?
      If someone is always smiling it’s either because they don’t understand what’s going on or because they are kissing ass.
      And he’s definitely not the kind of person you want to be champion. Alonso is a champion. Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Piquet (Snr.), Villeneuve… I can even understand people who saw drivers like Frentzen or Irvine as possible champions. Kubica, Vettel… But not Button or Barrichello. I’m sorry, but I can’t agree to that. Ross Brawn is a champion.

      1. You know what it doesn’t matter what you think of Button, there are enough of us who recognised his talent at the start and have kept faith in him through the bad times, and are now being proved right, he is on fire. Hamilton & Alonso are doing no better than he did in 2007/2008, Kubica is not even on the same page.

        Button will be World Champion, the history books will always print that, he will be remembered alongside all the other World Champions and he can hold his head high knowing he fully deserves to be there.

        The King is dead, long live the King.

  25. I like Rubens… I used to use him as a shield in microprose GP2

    But he’s always been a very honest person in the way he puts himself out, if it’s sad or happy… don’t you remember his first race win?
    5mins in

  26. As read from one article in planetf1, it’s because Ruben’s is “on his side of the garage”

  27. The Turkish Grand Prix, didn’t make for spectacular racing. Most of the action was packed into the first lap and that was where Jenson Button won the race. The famous turn eight, which include four apexes continued to fascinate drivers; this being the entire calendar’s longest corner. Read more about the race here.

  28. Chin up Rubinho. Many are still rooting for you…

  29. Rubinho still get chance to win this year and should just enjoy driving that monster.But when that monster won’t go that is frustrating.By the way Toyota also get modified front wing.

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