Rubens Barrichello grabs win from Lewis Hamilton (European Grand Prix)

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Hamilton gets revenge on Barrichello with a well-aimed champagne bottle
Hamilton gets revenge on Barrichello with a well-aimed champagne bottle

Rubens Barrichello ended his F1 victory drought of nearly five years with a classy win on the streets of Valencia.

A crucial mistake by McLaren on Lewis Hamilton’s final pit stop gave Barrichello the opportunity to snatch victory – but his 35-second lead over team mate Jenson Button showed how well the Brazilian had driven.

Barrichello went to his third spot on the grid with four laps’ more fuel than pole sitter Lewis Hamilton – a useful strategic advantage, providing he could stay within touch of the McLarens at the start.

With no KERS cars immediately behind him this was accomplished – although Kimi Raikkonen’s sprint from sixth to fourth briefly threatened to demote him.

Button’s bad start

Jenson Button, Brawn, Valencia, 2009
Jenson Button, Brawn, Valencia, 2009

Team mate Jenson Button had a more difficult start. Although he got away from the line smartly, as he drew alongside Sebastian Vettel the Red Bull driver squeezed him, forcing Button to lift. That allowed Fernando Alonso through and Mark Webber got a run on him at the chicane.

As Button and Webber headed into turn four side-by-side Alonso out-braked himself and Button followed the Renault across the kerbs. A few corners later Button dived down the inside of Alonso – but ran wide, allowing him back through again.

It got worse for Button: his team reckoned he’d illegally stayed ahead of Webber by cutting the chicane, and judiciously told Button to let the Red Bull past in case the stewards handed down a penalty. Having done this, Button was now down in eighth.

Barrichello chases Hamilton

Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Raikkonen, Valencia, 2009
Rubens Barrichello, Kimi Raikkonen, Valencia, 2009

With a slightly lighter car, Hamilton left Kovalainen behind. By lap six the two McLarens were separated by four seconds, with Barrichello 1.7s adrift followed by Raikkonen, Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Alonso, Webber and Button.

Hamilton came in for his first stop on lap 15, by which time he had a 7.5s advantage over Kovalainen, with Barrichello another 1.2s behind. After Hamilton’s stop Barrichello took between 1.5 and 2 seconds out of his lead per lap – meaning that, once all three had pitted, Hamilton remained ahead but Barrichello had jumped Kovalainen and left him well behind.

Now the race was all about Hamilton and Barrichello – and whether Hamilton could eke out enough of an advantage to stay ahead. Brawn told Barrichello on the radio that he needed to cut Hamilton’s lead to two seconds. But it crept up – hitting 4.3s by lap 27 and staying around the four-second mark before Hamilton’s pit stop on lap 37.

Pit stop problems

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Valencia, 2009
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Valencia, 2009

It looked very much like we were set for a close battle to the end – but Hamilton endured a fumbled pit stop, the team failing to get the tyres on the car quickly enough, which handed Barrichello the lead. Once the Brawn driver had pitted on lap 40 his advantage over Hamilton was six seconds. Hamilton’s pit stop had taken 13.4s – easily four or five seconds longer than it should have been. It seems that critical mistake robbed us of an exciting finish to the race and potentially cost Hamilton a win.

Afterwards McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh didn’t quite see it that way. His explanation was:

Barrichello was running longer than us so we tried to get extra lap. We made the call very late and we didn’t get tyres out in time. It cost us a few seconds but it didn’t lose us the race. We didn’t have the race pace so it didn’t make any difference to the outcome. It was an operational error but a consequence of the circumstances.
Martin Whitmarsh

McLaren’s explanation that they were trying to stretch Hamilton’s advantage by saving enough fuel for an extra lap makes sense. But there’s no denying that the effect of the fumbled pit stop cost Hamilton real time, without which the outcome might have been different. However, McLaren also suspected Barrichello could have pitted later than he did – his lap 40 pit stop may have been brought forward out of a concern that the safety car was about to be summoned following Kazuki Nakajima’s puncture.

Whatever happened, the outcome was clear – the fight for the lead was over and the race was now Barrichello’s to lose.

Tough times for Badoer

Luca Badoer, Ferrari, Valencia, 2009
Luca Badoer, Ferrari, Valencia, 2009

Hamilton wasn’t the only driver suffering misfortune. Romain Grosjean’s debut was compromised on the first lap when he damaged his front wing. The same thing happened to Sebastien Buemi, who swiped his wing off against Timo Glock’s right-rear tyre, giving the Toyota driver a puncture.

Ferrari’s stand-in Luca Badoer profited from this to move up from last to 14th on the first lap – but it didn’t stay that way for long. He was back down to 17th before the first tour was complete. He later picked up a drive-through penalty for crossing the white line while letting Grosjean past in the pit lane exit, and had a spin. The only driver he finished in front of was Nakajima, who’d spent much of one lap dragging his three-wheeled car to the pits.

There doesn’t seem to be any need to labour the point that Ferrari are taking quite a risk by keeping him in the car. He will be expected to do much better at Spa next weekend – a track he knows, and when explanations about ‘inexperience’ won’t cut any ice.

Raikkonen on the podium again

Rubens Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Valencia, 2009
Rubens Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Valencia, 2009

Meanwhile the other Ferrari of Raikkonen quietly nabbed third place off Kovalainen at the final round of pit stops. Kovalainen in turn fell back into the clutches of Nico Rosberg, the man who is tipped to take his place at McLaren next year, who had another strong race in the Williams.

Behind Alonso, sixth, was Button, who finally succeeded in passing Webber at the final round of pit stops when the Red Bull driver was delayed on his in-lap. This came after Button spent a chunk of his middle stint stuck behind Giancarlo Fisichella’s late-stopping Force India.

Button’s race had all the hallmarks of a driver who has one eye on the title and doesn’t want to take any risks. He shied away from going wheel-to-wheel with Vettel at the start, and let Webber past to ensure he didn’t get a penalty. The approach paid off – despite finishing seventh for the second race in a row his championship lead has grown to 20.5 points over Webber.

Robert Kubica snatched the final point having started tenth. He fell behind Nick Heidfeld’s more heavily-fuelled BMW at the start but his team mate let him through early on.

We go from one of the least-loved circuits in Formula 1 to its grand, all-time classic: Spa-Francorchamps. Valencia showed us that Brawn are back, but can the championship-leader emulate his team mate’s winning ways in the Ardennes?

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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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136 comments on “Rubens Barrichello grabs win from Lewis Hamilton (European Grand Prix)”

  1. By lap six the two McLarens were separated by four seconds, with Barrichello 1.7s behind followed by Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Alonso, Webber and Button.

    You forgot somebody in between.

    Spa, glorious Spa, I cannot wait.

    1. Raikkonen!

      1. …duuhhh!

  2. You have to commend Force India as well. Sutil ran well and Fisi did a great job moving up 5 places.Overall, well deservedd win for Rubens. Cheers…

  3. who had the fastest lap?

    and about button, 35 seconds well that’s not much considering he had a crappy position to start from… stuck in trafic…

    1. Glock had the FLAP with two laps to go I think!

    2. i think it was timo glock.

  4. what a stupid explanation by whitmarsh!! I had just started to respect him, but he’s blown it with yet another lie. I dunno why team bosses lie to the public. Do they think we are fools? hammi was 4.5 sec ahead of barri when he came into the pits. even if barri had 5 laps worth extra fuel, it would mean he would have to pull out almost 1 sec every lap!! at the finish hammi was only 3.5 odd sec behind barri. people might argue rubens was in cruise mode, but still it would have been closer that what it was. And what the heck was hamilton thinking?? is he senna or schumacher to place his judgment before that of the team?? hope nico comes over to mclaren next season & gives lewis a tough time. he’s been slaking too much of late.

    1. Barichello was laping 1.5 sec per laptime faster at that time so Hamilton didn’t had a chance

      1. Good point there Keith. I think if Nakadjima didn’t blow his rear tire Barrichello was going to race 1 more lap before his pit-stop and he would had even better chance for beating Hamilton

    2. hammi was 4.5 sec ahead of barri when he came into the pits. even if barri had 5 laps worth extra fuel, it would mean he would have to pull out almost 1 sec every lap!!

      Hamilton probably didn’t lose more than six seconds with the pit stop problem. So Barrichello only needed 0.3-0.4s per lap.

      That’s not to say he couldn’t have taken more than a second per lap off Hamilton – he did between their visits to the pits at the first round of stops:


      17 1:46.591 (out lap)
      18 1:41.055
      19 1:40.622

      20 1:40.335


      17 1:39.962
      18 1:39.427
      19 1:39.499

      20 1:55.468 (in lap)

      1. But Whitmarsh’s explanation is total rubbish. i dunno why he’s down-playing his own team’s chances? his driver lead 3/4ths of the race & yet he comes out to say they didn’t have the race pace to challenge Brawn. Whom is he trying to fool? even if barrichello had gotten past hamilton during the second pitstop, i would have been a close run to the flag. not to take anything away from rubens though, he did an excellent job by keeping hamilton & mclaren under extreme pressure & forced them into a clumsy mistake & more importantly he’s proved the backbiter brawn wrong by winning a gp at 38. But i’m very disappointed with Whitmarsh’s statement. Its far from the truth.

        1. What rubbish. Im a massive LH and Mclaren fan but Whitmarsh is spot on. Barri had it all under control and jumped LH just like he did to HK in the first round of stops. Did you not see how close he got to LH after the first round.

          Just because LH lead 3/4 of the race meant nothing, this is modern F1 Brawn knew they had the pace and extra laps to jump the mclarens. Even without the dodgy stop Barri was setting new fastest laps while a heavy hamilton was in high 1.40s messing about with Rosberg.

          Get of Whitmarsh’s case. Mclaren have done a great job. 2nd and 4th is incredible, never thought id see it this year! Well done Barri too!

          1. What rubbish Thesti – remember the three stopping Hamilton in Turkey last year – having a slower car doesnt mean you stop going for the win. It was Whitmarsh and his crew who messed not Hamilton – clearly he is one of those blame-passing guys. In Melbourne earlier in the year, he was playing the blame game that cost Ron Dennis and others their jobs. Same thing here as well. This guy is the wrong CEO for McLaren – watch this space.

          2. ron dennis left on his own terms.

        2. mp4, I think Barri would have came out in front of Hamilton either way, or it would have been extremely close. It would have been pretty close repeat of the First pit stop…

          You should in fact thank Whitmarsh for pushing with the McLaren developments which is bringing Hamilton back to life. Whitmarsh is a top team boss, and I think he is doing a great job. personally I like him very much :)

          1. mp4. You are wrong.

          2. no he is not

        3. MP4, Withmarsh was right. The moment Lewis started complaining about brake problems, Mclaren started conserving the car. BrawnGP had the fastest car of the weekend, and drove well within their ability.
          The most we were robbed of was a chance to see Lewis attacking Barichello with a KERS equipped car.

          1. or defending with KERS – either way the pitstop lost Lewis the race. To try and say that it was irrelevant is just so totally disgusting

        4. I think Hamilton gave a more accurate report of what happened.
          regardless, i think that if the pitstop wasn’t botched Hamilton would have had the time to keep ahead, or at least we would have had a wheel to wheel finish,.. imagine that.. 2 cars with the same running gear that would have been awesome…

      2. How do you figure that Barri only need 0.3-0.4s per lap?

        Hamilton was 4 seconds ahead and Barrichello stopped 3 laps later.

        Did you mean 1.3-1.4s per lap maybe?

        Hamilton probably didn’t lose more than six seconds with the pit stop problem.

        Hamilton was six seconds down from Barrichello at their next lap. At that time Barri was on new supersofts and thus half a second per lap faster. So I’d say Barri was 5.5s in front of Hamilton after his stop. That 6s is then exactly the amount that cost Hamilton the position.

        1. BTW it’s not just the time he lost in the pitstop itself. Hamilton comes out right behind Rosberg so he cannot set any fast laps of his own.

          1. which a certain team boss seems to conveniently ignore

        2. The 3 overlapping laps are done while the driver you’re up against (Hamilton in this case) completes those same laps with a very high fuel load.

          1. Yeah and?

      3. Brawn told Barrichello on the radio that he needed to cut Hamilton’s lead to two seconds. But it crept up – hitting 4.3s by lap 27 and staying around the four-second mark before Hamilton’s pit stop on lap 37.

        This highlights that Hamiltons’ pitstop did indeed cost him the lead. Brawn were not expecting to jump Hamilton as the gap was too big, close yeah but not enough to take a descisive lead. Whitmarsh is right in his assessment of the cause of the delay but he is wrong with his assessment of the outcome.

        Plus, even if there was no delay and Hamilton did come out in second, he would have been close enough to challenge Barrichello before the end and with the use of kers may well have got past.

        1. Well deserved win for Rubens, but I think Whitmarsh was not 100% spot on. Yes, Barri was gaining up on LH and we would’ve got to see great racing if only, the crew didn’t mess up to a 13 sec pit stop!!!!

  5. Hmmm… so… looks like grandpa is not dead yet.

  6. Well deserved win for Rubens…CHEERS !

  7. Crap…I had my money on Badoer for the win.

    1. lmao. That’s just mean

  8. Raikkonen…gr8 job
    deserve to be in Ferrari

  9. To all the Ruben naysayers/Jenson is a superior driver than he – HA HA

  10. I’m sure all you McLaren fans will disagree, but I’m almost positive they brought Rubens in 2 laps early due to the yellow flag from Nakajima. I’m sure they were worried about a SC which would have been dire for Barrichello if he had not pitted.

    So you could blame it on the Mclaren pit stop and the Nakajima yellow or just accept the fact that Rubens put in a stellar drive, doing fast lap after fast lap when he needed to. Something Brawn had perfected with Schumacher many years ago.

    It’s much easier to find a mistake and point to that as the cause for the loss, but in reality it looks to me that the mistake was in the opening stint. Lewis couldn’t pull out a big enough lead over Rubens to make his strategy pay off.

    On another note, I’ll be surprised if Badoer is in the car next week. That was more humiliating than a botched pit stop. Let the rumors begin, Michael loves Spa, was his first GP, could it be his last? There are rumors that Massa could be back for Monza. Either way if Schumi is still out, they will have to put Gene in the car. Luca will be sacked before the 2010 season.

    1. I’m sure all you McLaren fans will disagree, but I’m almost positive they brought Rubens in 2 laps early due to the yellow flag from Nakajima.

      That’s what Whitmarsh said after the race (it’s in the report).

    2. Ferrari confirmed Badoer will race in Belgium as well…

      1. he will drive

  11. Sorry if this appears to be a stupid question, I may have missed something.
    Button had to give up his place when he cut the chicane at the beginning. Why didn’t Alonso have to do the same?

    1. Button and Webber were racing side by side, Alonso was by himself. Yes he gained a slight advantage too, but the rules never make you give up a spot for missing a chicane while running by yourself.

      1. Ahh ok, thanks.

  12. Great driving by Rubens all weekend and a much deserved win. However, Whitmarsh made himself look a complete fool today with his “we never had the pace to win today” line and his further insistance that the 7 seconds they lost in the final pitstop was only 2 seconds and did not cost Lewis the win. Absolute cobblers. If he thinks that a normal McLaren pitstop takes over 11 seconds, he needs to replace his pit crew! Team screwed up and cost Lewis the win, end of.

    Of the circuit itself, well it looked better than last year, mainly by dint of some much needed paint on the walls I suspect (wasn’t it all grey last year?). But the outcome was the same. A processional race with no overtaking possible on the track. The only variation in position came from the inevitable pitstop strategy differences between the teams. Now I know Keith doesn’t agree with me on this one, but I still think taking refueling away next year will lead to more races being decided in qualifying and even fewer race position changes than we see now. This cannot be good for F1. Just my tuppence worth….

    1. Of the circuit itself, well it looked better than last year, mainly by dint of some much needed paint on the walls I suspect (wasn’t it all grey last year?).


    2. I seen Whitmarsh giving his explanation with Jake and the gang and he looked nervous when they pressed him about the botched pitstop. He is covering himself to keep his job, trying to dumb it down so everybody will think it wasn’t his or pitcrew’s fault.

      I gave this circuit the benefit of the doubt last year as it was the inaugral race but I am more certain this circuit will be bad with no refueling next year. We are stuck with it for another 5 years unless Bernie has a get out clause because of low attendance. I don’t like this circuit also from a TV point of view, the colouring is so monotonous and bland, because of the ammount of turns the picture kept changeing very quickly it makes my eyes go funny and gives me headaches. I have never had a problem with Canada though. Maybe its where they put the tv cameras I don’t know. They should replace Valencia for Gilles Villeneuve. Looks like its back next year anyway from reports.

      1. He is covering himself to keep his job,

        dont think so..

        1. i think so

  13. Heikki really under-performed today. Martin Whitmarsh was telling the same thing, Heikki’s race pace is a matter of concern. And he did nothing to address those concerns.

    About the pitstop, yet again, I will agree with Martin Whitmarsh. Lewis’s race pace was good, better than Heikki’s, but clearly no match for Rubens.

    The theory we could have had a close finish also holds little substance, given that Rubens was on the softer tyre (possibly faster) and Lewis was on the harder one.

    BTW, 1 query: why did Brawn opt for longer time on the supersofts than Mclaren and other teams? Does that mean that the Brawn car is too hard on its tyres, isn’t this contrary to what the issue was till the last race? I am confused, someone please explain.

    1. Sorry, a typing mistake. Why did Brawn opt for longer time on the harder tyre than Mclaren and other teams?

      1. They probably chose to use the hard tyres more because of the effect the heat would have on the soft tyres, which did hamper Hamilton’s second stint. Running the first part of the race on hards also means they could use softs for the other two stops (a strategy they used in Turkey with Button), although they probably felt it was more prudent to stay on hard for the bigger portion.

      2. A race track generally improves as the race progresses, often the reason why most teams use their none optimum tyres towards the end of the race.

        1. Personally, I think a more pertinent question is why did McLaren opt for longer time on the softer tyre than Brawn? It looks like the wrong decision (in hindsight)

          1. Many comments here about how Hamilton lost the race. I tend to agree with the folk that are leaning toward the fact that if Lewis’ race wasn’t lost in the pits, it may as well have been lost on track.

            I think Ruebens had the pace, he was flying, he was pushing hard, in a very composed manner. You saw in the latter stages of the race, when he was trading lap times with Lewis, he always had control, he knew exactly when to push. Good drive from the top 3, Kimi looked fantastic in the latter bits, hope he can carry this on to Spa.

            How about Kovi? I think thats it. He’s drawn his last straw, its time for him to go, there are no more excuses. He showed in quali that he had similar pace to Lewis, with a heavier car, hence the cars may have been similar, but come raceday, he just never seems to come to terms with it. He’s not worthy of a Mclaren drive, he lacks the required pace. Rosberg or Kubica for that seat!!

            Poor old Luca Badoer eh? What a mess he’s got himself into, Schumi didn’t seem very impressed on the pitwall, I believe he would have done a better job even with the neck injury. They’ll get rid of him after Spa, and possible give Marc Gene a shot? How great would it be if the annouce that Alonso will be driving for them soon!! I love Kimi, but I think he feels the need to leave the sport…but the possibility of Alonso in a Ferrari is..well..mouth watering!!

  14. I do believe that Hamilton was not at all happy about his 2nd place. Just coming accustomed to winning again, and a team error hands the top spot to Rubens. No wonder he tried to run him down in Parc Ferme.

    1. Yes, that was an amusing moment in Parc Ferme. I think he was ok with it, this season has mellowed him somewhat – whether that’s a good or bad thing I’m not sure yet

    2. I knew something like that would happen as Hamilton was not yet in while Barichello was walking along the fence. But in reality, its a tight squeeze in there.

    3. Yeah Hamilton looked really upset. I don’t think he even shook Barrichello’s hand or spoke to him. He just kept his back towards Barrichello.

      1. wrong Patrick – Hamilton actually hugged Rubens, shock his hand and congragulated him – Rubens even joked to him how he wanted to get him. There was a lot of light hearted banter between the two.

      2. Hamilton did congratulate RB after he got out the car. Good old handshake and hug.

        1. Odd I missed that on TV. After the drivers came up the stairs, they were on Rubens all the time and only Raikkonen gave Rubens a pet. Guess it must have happened earlier or later then.

          1. Yeah Hamilton gave Barrichello a pat on the back and a hug straight Hamilton had got out of his car and put the steering wheel back and Barrichello had finished celebrating with his team.

          2. Ah thanks.

          3. Earlier. Perhaps you were taking intermeittent naps. :-)

          4. Well I was laughing that Rubens had to jump out of the way for Hamilton. Probably I was distracted after that :)

  15. i wonder if Badoer who i now call ‘BAD’ came away from the weekend with any pay… after 5 fines u would think there cant be much left over!

  16. one thing guys u havent discussed.there is only one team who has been on podium for the last three races and that is no other then FERRARI

    1. Yes, Raikkonen was fairly quiet in the race. They have been putting in good results, but I don’t think they will win a race this year as they have stopped development unless they get lucky. With only 1 driver carrying the team, they are doing well off the back of Brawns and Red bulls recent bad form in the last few races. The last 3 races Button scores 8pts Barrichello 13pts Webber 16pts Vettel 8pts Raikkonen 14pts. The only driver who scored more is Hamilton with 18pts. This will be a tight fight to the end if this continues i think.

    2. Impressed he finished ahead of Kovalainen.

      1. Kovalainen is the must frustrating humanoid i’ve ever come across ;) Is he mercedes’ answer to Honda’s Asimo ? If that is the case they no longer need him & neither do i. If they haven’t noticed, honda have already pulled out & mercedes can do away with this humanoid kovi.

        1. *must=most

  17. I would like someone to explain the performance differences between Jenson and Rubens?

    Totally baffling, at least to me.

    1. Vettel’s agressive squeeze losing them both places, Jenson having to concede a place for cutting a corner when Alonso did not, being stuck behind a slower car where overtaking is nigh on impossible (any one see any on track overtaking for a points position? I didn’t) and Ruben’s having a great weekend.

      When in clear air Jenson was fast.

    2. What happened to Button today is no different from what Barichello has experienced earlier this season. Lose a position or 2 and next time around you lose even more.

  18. Kimi quietly makes his way to the podium again.

  19. Indeed, great drive by Kimi that was pretty much perfect considering the machinery.

    On a side note, what a terrible venue Valencia is – yet again virtually no overtaking and millions of slow corners with no gradient change.

    Thank god Spa is only a week away. :)

  20. yeah ….Iceman style….

  21. why every time i choose vettel as 1 of my fantasy drivers he fails to finish?!! monaco n now valencia! at least my other 2 picks (Lewis n Rubens) finished good. good race by both. kinda dozed off at the end tho.

  22. RAI is driver of the race. For a guy thinking of driving subcompacts in the woods next year, that was a hard core drive. I think Marty needs to give Kimi a number he can’t refuse for next year. Ron’s gone so maybe Kimi will consider it.

    Whitmarsh was right that BAR could complete his math homework. But its ridiculous to say a race was lost when you were in the lead. With a good stop, even if Hamilton fell behind, Barichello would have had two mirrors full silver (with KERS), it was very very hot, and Barichello is very very old. As it was Hamilton pushed him to the flag.

    It was clear from about lap 10 what had to be done. Hamilton needed to go to three stops and roll the dice with traffic. The track has only an 18 second pit delta. Blistering tires, BAR clearly keeping up on options, Kovalainen doing his typical Sunday afternoon FAIL, meant action had to be taken. Whitmarsh was focused, as he said, on the “safe second place.” So it was.

    1. Paige Michael-Shetley
      23rd August 2009, 20:10

      A Hamilton-Raikkonen driver pairing would be the most epic in F1 history.

      1. totally agreed, dream team, the two most complete drivers out there.

      2. nope….Senna / Prost, but it would be up there. After Alonso, I don’t see it happening at McLaren.

    2. DMW – I just can’t get Whitmarsh’s logic. His car was 4.5 seconds ahead before the pitstop. If it had taken 7 seconds like Barichello’s in the pits instead of 13, it would have saved 6 seconds, slightly more than the 5 that Lewis emerged behind Barichello after the mess in the pits. Besides, Lewis would have emerged ahead of Rosberg and avoided the traffic and thus posted a faster lap immediately after the pitstop. My mathematics says Lewis would have come out 1 or say 0.5 secs ahead of Barichello. Even if he had come out 0.1 secs ahead of the Brawn, he could still have defended that position with the KERS – the abilities of the McLaren to defend that position had been shown prior to the pitstop by Lewis increasing the gap from 3 seconds to 4.3 seconds. I think Martin Whitmarsh is a hopelessly incompetent Team Principal who lost the race because of a mistake that he is refusing to accept.

  23. Nakajima actually had his 4 wheels on, just that he had only 3 tyres. The FIA was responsible for his puncture, as they failed to clean the track after the different accidents.

  24. his 35-second lead over team mate Jenson Button showed how well the Brazilian had driven

    Jenson lost a lot of positions (and thus time) because after the start he was first almost rammed by Vettel, then by Alonso and then he had his eighth spot taken by Webber and his complaining to the ref.

    1. Race control didn’t order the position change, as far as I’m aware, it was the team that did it. And they were right to.

      1. Why right to? Webber was at best partly alongside Button.

        In previous discussions situations, about cutting chicanes, situations like this have come up a lot. The driver in front does not have to cede their place when they cut the chicane (once). Schumacher did this on numerous occasions.

  25. This will hopefully be mentioned tomorrow in the “facts and stats” section, but Rubinho’s victory is Brazil’s 100th Grand prix win, the third country to reach this milestone (Great Britain is first, with 207 wins, followed by Germany with 106).

    1. Germany almost has all its 106 eggs in one basket. :-)

    2. It will be (although Britain’s actually on 206, I think Brooks & Moss’s shared win in the 1957 British Grand Prix is the reason for the discrepancy).

      1. Since we are on this subject, how does Great Britain’s 106 (or 7) victories break down among England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

  26. Paige Michael-Shetley
    23rd August 2009, 20:06

    As I see it, McLaren made two mistakes today. The most glaring one was the pit stop messup.

    The other one, though, was their tire selection. Options just didn’t work on long stints. Hamilton’s lap time margins over Barrichello dropped in the middle-long portion of the first stint as the options wore off, and he had to nurse the rear tires some laps on the second stint, meaning he ran inconsistent lap times. If McLaren had put he and Kovalainen on primes, they may not have gotten away as quickly on the start of the run, but they would have run more consistent lap times. This would have allowed Hamilton to build a bigger margin on the second stint when he wouldn’t have had to nurse the primes, and barring the pit messup, he would have held off Barrichello on the overlaps.

    1. Theoretically!

      1. Mclaren’s mistake was not ordering
        Kovi to lap a second a lap
        slower in the first stint holding Barichello back. :)

  27. Rubens would have easily overtaken HAM on last pitstop, if you look Kovi vs Räikkönen, Kovi was 4 second ahead before last pit and Kimi easily overtook him. So basicly Whitmarsh is right, of course they loose more than 2 seconds but no matter

    1. Sorry GP1 i disagree – first Hamilton drives better than Kovi so u cannot use Kovi to argue a Hamilton performance. Second, until somebody gives me better figures, what i have seen on rerunning my recording says the time Hamilton lost in the pits was more than the time he came behind Rubens after the stop and therefore he would have emerged infront of the Brazilian – now we all know that passing at Valencia on the track is basically not the doable thing. That pitstop cost Hamilton a win.

      1. They brought BAR in early after HAMs stop because of the yellow so this argument is questionable. It was classic Brawn strategy.

        The question is, what would have happened if HAMs pit stop was perfect? It seemed like HAM was held up on the yellow flag lap just enough to allow BAR to come out in front on the last stop, but we’ll never know I guess.

        Maybe Whitmarsh is trying to do damage control and keep the team from pointing fingers and getting disgruntled.

  28. Barichello has been pretty annoying most of the season, but you can’t help feeling happy for that guy. Totally deserved victory and even though I was rooting for Hamilton and it bores out the championship again, it was a good ending to a race that was otherwise even moe of a borefest than I that I though it was going to be.

    There’s one thing I don’t get though. At the end of the first stint after hamilton and a few others had pitted, Rubens was running first with Rosberg in second right on his tail. Rubens pitted what seemed like a lap earlier (which makes sense considering the fuel stops) and came out ahead of kovaleinen, but Rosberg appeared back in 7th or something (with two cars in front yet to stop). Did something go wrong?

    I probably just missed it as I haven’t heard anything on it, but considering he was supposed to be a lap longer (fuel loads) and he drove ahead of Jenson the entire race, I really cannot work this out.

    The only alternative can be that Nakajima was trailing Button at that point on the race and showed it while displaying the first two positions + times on the screen, which were Barichello and Rosberg at the time.

  29. Congratulations to Rubens. I guess Hamilton didn’t have car good enough today to win. Despite the pit error.
    For me Kimi is The Man. He’s probably driving better than ever before. Considering the equipment, he’s getting great results. That’s my opinion.

  30. Romain Grosjean will do well in the future.

  31. Well done for rubens a good win – though the pit stop and tyre choice didnt help hamilton – whitmarsh’s explanation/excuse rankles a bit – but compared to where he was finishing(hamilton that is a few races before) – it is still a great improvement and possibly will have improved more by spa.
    Button – well pretty poor performance – only time he tried to make a move on alonso – it was like amatuer night.

  32. Looking at where Rubens and Kimi finished, I have to wonder where Schumacher could have finished. Must be extra furstrating for him.

    BTW Heikki was going backwards as usual.

  33. Maybe a bit late, but I was wondering why Hamilton and Kovalainen went so light in Q3. Did they forget that they have KERS?

    For instance, look at Raikkonen, he simply filled it up, took a few lost places in qualifying for granted, then made those back up with KERS at the start. No compromise to the strategy and he even beats Kovalainen.

    If Hamilton had had the same fuel load as Barrichello in Q3 he would still have made pole. With even a bit more at worst he would have started from P3. P3 would be the perfect place to start from with KERS.

    BTW when you think “rubbish” please realise that Barrichello was NOT fastest fuel corrected. Indeed he claimed he was and also the BBC site and James Allen incorrectly also said so. They were wrong. Hamilton set his time 3 laps earlier, so he really was the fastest in Q3 after proper fuel correction. Also demonstrated by the fact that he was on a much faster last lap in Q3.

    1. BTW when you think “rubbish” please realise that Barrichello was NOT fastest fuel corrected. Indeed he claimed he was and also the BBC site and James Allen incorrectly also said so. They were wrong.

      Indeed. This was the true picture:

    2. Yeah, I was surprised to see McLaren’s car weight after the quali. In a hind sight they have qualified too light.

      However strategy like Raikkönen’s/to use KERS to overtake at start is also risky, it might go wrong too, it’s not granted that you can make up places.

      With a lighter car, clear track and softer tyres, if Lewis could have pull out a bigger gap in his first stint there wouldn’t be such a problem I guess. But the Brawn was too fast.

      1. Hamilton had an 8 second lead after 16 laps. That’s half a second per lap. I don’t think you can expect more than that.

    3. I think they wanted to make sure of locking out the front row. As its very hard to overtake at Valencia even with kers. I didn’t see much overtaking, did you?

      1. Well I saw Raikkonen overtake two cars easily at the start. Didn’t you?

        Besides if another car is faster (like Rubens was) then it’s useless to go for a short stint. The faster car will then have a pretty good shot at overtaking you.

  34. To all the Martin Whitmarsh trashers…. really?? As BS has pointed out earlier McLaren ended up 2nd and 4th! Compare that to Silverstone and other early season races! The last couple of results have been a testament to the massive effort of McLaren team under the guidance of MW. The way they have turned their season around is truely inspirational!

  35. pit stop passing is gay. passing should only take place on the track. not when a driver has to refuel. glad to see refuelling banned for 2010! bring back the racing!

    1. Refuelling is no more but tire changes are still needed, strategy will still involve pit stops. :)

      1. yea but it wont involve a lighter car on the track for a coulpe of laps then coming in later then the car that the guy is trying to pass, thats what happened in valencia.

        f1 current state reminds me of rally except everyone is on the same track at the same time, its always about the timing,

        i want to see cars scraping on the track not just doing fast laps

        1. The biggest ‘pass’ in the race was due to a mistake with changing the tires. This still would have happened w/o fuel stops.

          I do agree though, the BAR over KOV and the RAI of KOV passes were fuel related. I like the refueling ban, but it will make race tracks like Valencia absolutely horrible….

  36. that was a boring race, the only real action happened between the front four cars, strategy races are dead boring

    I never thought id say this before this race but i cant wait till next year and no refeuling. I want to see the race decided on track not in the pits

    Sundays race was a 300kmph parade,

    ………. And get rid of valencia circuit aswell,

    1. Yeah, I can’t wait till next year when the fastest guy starts from pole and disappears into the distance.

      1. I think you’re worrying unnecessarily. Remember how many times in 2002 (the last year of proper qualifying) Juan Pablo Montoya put the car that was emphatically not the fastest in F1 on pole position.

        Doing a single banzai hot lap and running a 200-mile race without a fuel stop are two hugely different demands. It does not necessarily follow that the fastest car for one challenge will be the fastest for the other.

        1. i halfheartedly agree with keith, i agree that re-fueling ban is for the good of F1kind. But we don’t have the champion of cheat with us any more longer, for him to cheat his way to victories. the champion of cheat will pray to god that massa never recovers, so that he can occupy that seat & continue his cheating ways.

      2. well that fastest guy starts from pole and disapears thing already happens in f1, i want to see at least 1 passing maneurve up the front on a race,its better then pit passing.

  37. While I do agree with you that there are drivers who qualify a lot better than their ability to manage that pace over a full Grand Prix, but in the case of this race I fail to see how next year’s rules would make it any more interesting, and would most likely only make it worse.

    Let say for example that there were no fuel stops yesterday and the grid had been the same. The only way for Rubens to have won, would still be in the pit stops to change tyres. He could have changed tyres early to get some clean air and leap frogged Lewis & Kov that way. It is still strategy racing.

    Now I would much prefer to have the cars racing on the track, but the reality is that it is simply too hard to overtake in F1. So in the event of a potentially boring race like Valencia, I welcome the chance for a bit of pit strategy to spice things up.

    1. With no refueling, once a car suffers a puncture or broken wing, they can only change tyres or wing, not strategy. Any one suffering a first lap incident, is essentially finished.

      1. Sorry, but I still don’t quite see how this is different to now. I can’t recall any fuel strategy change, due to a first lap incident, delivering a dramatic result, however I am sure to be wrong.

        Also changing tyres is also strategy. If someone lost a wing on lap 20 but was planning to change tyres on lap 35, by changing tyres on lap 20, the tyre strategy has been changed. Yes, one dynamic in strategy will be removed, but if you are really only after on track racing, then pit stops should just be banished all together.

        1. What I meant was the possibility of changing from a 2 or 3 stop strategy to a one stop strategy after an accident. With refueling, one can choose to run with a lighter car at any stage within a race. But without refueling all cars are essentially the weight.

  38. Woohoo ….well done Ruben. The shadow of Schumacher is finding his own place.

    I just did read Kimis interview from finnish newspaper and there is some good news for next year. Kimi said that Ferrari has been much better with heavy fule load than in light and thats why they are doing better in race than in qualification.

    There is not refuelling 2010 means cars will be heavier in qualification means Ferrari should do better in quali.

    bad news is that Ferrari will not get any news parts dduring this season so racing will be hard when other teams are continuing their developing work.

  39. Timo Glock “Glock Dog” sets the fastest lap and lowers the lap record with a 1:38.683

    Good job for toyota, i think they are a team who deserve a lot more but havnt shown it this season.

  40. But even after that mistake by mclaren top management guys on the pitwall, the mechanics did a great job actually. i would have been natural for any pit-crew to panic & botch it up, but they didn’t. Considering the fact that the mechanics were still in the process of taking off tyre warmers off the tyre, it was a good pitstop. Atleast they didn’t botch it up like renault. I’m sure it would have attracted a ban for spa & knowing the step-motherly treatment that mclaren gets from FIA, that ban wouldn’t have been overturned.

  41. Good job Rubens…You Deserve this…..
    But the amazing thing is the driver of the Race is none other than kimi Raikkonen…..Great start from a dirtier side, great attack in the start on Barichello…..caught kovi in the stop….and its again a podium for him…..
    which he got as he had realistically aimed for it….
    i just wwonder what if Kimi would have taken Rubens in the start too…..would that be a Ferrari victory……?
    cause he would have maybe jumped kovi at the first stint and lewis due to on second due to the blunder……that would have been close…..KImi…’ve proved the world wrong….u are still determined!!!!!

  42. What Martin said about not being able to win is simply not true and shows disrespect to Lewis as well as a lack of faith in his abilities. The Brawn may have been a faster car, but with KERS and Lewis’ speed, if the pit stop hadn’t been botched, even if Rubens had jumped him at the pit stops, Lewis would have fought for the win down to the chequered flag, by trying to get by using KERS and then defensive driving. Whitmarsh should give his star driver the benefit of the doubt by at least admitting that Lewis could have won. You could see in Lewis’s face, despite what he said, that he knew the pit stop ended his chance of a win, and he LIKES to win when he has the opportunity. Very disappointed in McLaren and Whitmarsh.

    1. I don’t think he was being disrespectful to Lewis, even before the pit stop error I was already doubtful Lewis will be ahead after Barichello made his stop. Lewis was already nursing his car from quite early on in the race. I even was tempted to believe they botched their pit stop just to save face.

      Mclaren have definitely improved, but the Brawn car is still the fastest car yet and its also kinder to its tyres.

      1. Oliver, what I mean by disrespectful is by not giving Lewis the benefit of the doubt for his ability to still win. You could see Lewis thought he had a chance. I think botching a pit stop to save face is a conspiracy theory too far (and I love a good conspiracy theory). Both Lewis and Whitmarsh have said they still don’t have the pace of the Brawns so there is no need to “save face” but with KERS and Lewis behind the wheel, they were obviously doing a pretty good job of matching Rubens’ Brawn before the final pit stop.

        I think Whitmarsh was doing a poor spin job but along with that was disrespecting Lewis.

        1. I don’t disagree with you, I still remember how Withmarsh handled the lie gate fiasco. :-)

          1. There was the radio transmission from McLaren pitwall to Hamilton – “Something like Barichello is five seconds ahead of you but you have the whole stint to catch him” – that doesn’t sound like a team that had decided they were second before pitting. That sounded like a team that believed they had speed to beat Rubens.

    2. I completely agree.

  43. I don’t think the pit stop problem cost Hamilton the race. The time from when the fuel hose came off and the lollipop was raised was 4-5 seconds, which was the time the mistake cost him. After Barrichello’s stop he was ahead by more than that.

    At best Hamilton may have been close enough when Barrichello rejoined to use the fact he was fully up to race speed and his KERS to try to and get past Barrichello, but I agree with Whitmarsh Barrichello was simply faster on the day.

    A bigger mistake McLaren made was probably not putting more fuel in the car on Saturday before Q3. Hamilton set his pole time on his first flying lap and aborted his final lap so he could have being fuelled heavier and still had a good chance at pole, and even if he didn’t manage to get pole he still could have used KERS at the start.

    Overall I think it was another boring race at Valencia, and the bad news is they have just signed a new 5 year contract.

  44. The pit crew is to blame. Hamilton would have easily taken the lead over Barrichello had the men not messed up. Around 5-6 seconds were wasted in the pits which could have well been avoided. I’m looking foward to Spa. Can’t wait for it.

  45. I thought Kimi Raikkonen was going to win. :p

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