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Barrichello: 'Culture difference' and language barrier Honda's downfall

Rubens Barrichello has suggested that a 'culture difference' and language barrier were the key elements separating Honda from success in Formula 1 in recent years – as he revealed his hopes that Brawn GP will turn out to be something of a hybrid of what he found at Ferrari and Stewart Grand Prix.

Honda was saved from F1 extinction by the recent management buy-out led by Ross Brawn, following the Japanese manufacturer's announcement back in December that it was withdrawing its official support with immediate effect.

The take-over not only rescued the 750-strong Brackley-based operation from collapse, but it also arguably prevented Barrichello's record-breaking career in the top flight from coming to an end, with Brawn – with whom the experienced Brazilian has worked closely at Ferrari and subsequently Honda for many years – electing to retain the 36-year-old in preference to taking a punt on 2008 GP2 Series runner-up Bruno Senna.

What's more, with the new, Mercedes-powered BGP001 having lapped impressively quickly and consistently in the hands of both Barrichello and team-mate Jenson Button during the major group test at Barcelona this week, the former is hopeful that his Indian summer may yet prove to be a highly successful one.

“Honda did brilliantly,” he told British newspaper The Independent, “and I am sorry to see them go, but you have to say there is always a culture difference and a difficulty in the language, so it was tough.

“All I have wanted to see at the team is 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 a competitive Formula 1 team.

“Are we going to be like a small Stewart family? It might be – a smaller team working together, not going through too many people to get an answer. It might work in our favour.”

The nine-time grand prix-winner also told Spanish newspaper El Mundo that he is sure F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is 'not sorry to see Rubens [at Brawn GP] and not Bruno', despite the Formula One Management chief executive having lobbied hard to secure Senna an break in the top flight and offered to aid the management buy-out financially should the young Brazilian have been signed up to the second seat.

“The silly thing is we have got Bruno wanting to drive,” the 78-year-old had said. “It would be fantastic for everybody to have the name Senna back in Formula 1.”



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RawDawg

March 12, 2009 5:58 PM

I'm gonna call BS on this "culture, language barrier" crutch. Honda has won in everything on 2 and 4 wheels since they starting racing internationally in the '60's. So why in the hell would they have this "barrier" now in the 2000's?

mikeme - Unregistered

March 12, 2009 4:38 PM

The problem was not culture or language. Fry and the brackley team were responsible for decisions, policy, strategy, etc. Honda only supplied the money. But, given the world economic crisis, they were no longer in a position to pour money down a bottomless black hole. The problems were 1. Fry 2. Excessive expenditure with minimal returns 3. the economic crisis 4. FIA restrictions/policies. Rubens should rather concentrate on his driving than acting like a Harvard Business School rookie and he should be aware that Honda is still paying to keep the show on the road.



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