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Rubens wins in Valencia

August 23rd, 2009

Rubens Barrichello, Europe, 2009Rubens Barrichello claimed his first victory since China 2004 at the European Grand Prix in Valencia on Sunday.

He may have started from the second row of the grid but, fuel-adjusted, he was quickest in qualifying and he kept that pace throughout the race to leap-frog both McLarens.

Barrichello, who was wearing a special helmet with a message to Felipe Massa, dedicated the victory to his fellow countryman who is recovering in Brazil after his accident at the Hungarian Grand Prix:

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.

Lewis Hamilton made a good start from pole position and was leading after the first round of pit stops but a late decision (too late as Lewis was already committed to the pit entrance) to keep him out for another lap meant that the pit crew weren’t ready for his final set of tyres. The delay cost Hamilton a couple of seconds although Martin Whitmarsh would later say that McLaren didn’t have the pace to beat Barrichello anyway:

To have a car arrive and not have the tyres there is an operational error. But had the tyres been ready it wouldn’t have made a difference. It only cost us a couple of seconds.

I thought it was interesting to compare Hamilton’s reaction to his team’s error to Barrichello’s outburst at the German Grand Prix.  While Rubens immediately claimed the team had lost the race for him, Lewis called his pit crew “the best” and said they deserved a pat on the back.

The win moves Barrichello into second place in the Drivers’ Championship, 18 points behind his team mate Jenson Button, while Mark Webber drops back to third.

2009 European Grand Prix Race Results

Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
1 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 3 35:51.289 10
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1 35:53.647 8
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 6 36:07.283 6
4 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 2 36:11.321 5
5 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 7 36:12.159 4
6 Fernando Alonso Renault 8 36:19.033 3
7 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 5 36:26.202 2
8 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 10 36:27.956 1
9 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 9 36:36.199 0
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 12 36:39.224 0
11 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 11 36:40.111 0
12 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 16 36:54.903 0
13 Jarno Trulli Toyota 18 36:55.816 0
14 Timo Glock Toyota 13 37:17.808 0
15 Romain Grosjean Renault 14 37:23.033 0
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 19 lapped 0
17 Luca Badoer Ferrari 20 lapped 0
18 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 17 lapped 0
RET Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 15 retired, 41 laps 0
RET Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 4 retired, 23 laps 0

Image: Brawn GP

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