F1 »

Brawn: Barrichello has a 'massive challenge' to catch Button

Ross Brawn has admitted that Rubens Barrichello has a mountain to climb if he is to successfully catch and overtake Jenson Button for the 2009 F1 Drivers' World Championship – but he suggested only a fool would write off the 'hugely motivated' Brazilian's chances in the British Grand Prix this weekend.

Arriving at Silverstone, Button has amassed a commanding 26-point advantage over team-mate Barrichello in the chase for the coveted crown, courtesy of six victories from the opening seven outings of the campaign – equalling a record previously held only by legendary multiple world champion Michael Schumacher and the late Jim Clark – to none for the São Paulista, who indeed has mounted the rostrum on only three occasions so far this year, and has yet to get the better of the British star on race day.

Gearbox issues in the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul last time out conspired to ruin Barrichello's race from the start, and ultimately forced his first retirement of the season – prompting him to complain publicly afterwards that when things go wrong within the team, they always seem to do so on his side of the garage, as Button sprints on seemingly inexorably to title glory.

Indeed, the latter's margin over the first non-Brawn driver in the standings – Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel – is a staggering 32 points, meaning he can afford to finish runner-up in each of the remaining ten grands prix and still lift the laurels at the end.

The Brackley-based outfit's team principal Brawn – usually a man to err on the side of caution and circumspection rather than optimism – has suggested that it will require a significant slice of bad luck now for the Frome-born ace to be toppled from his perch, though if Barrichello is going to fight back anywhere, he noted, Silverstone is probably his best shot.

“Rubens faces a massive challenge,” the Englishman is quoted as having said by the Daily Mirror. “Jenson has been driving exceptionally well, and for Rubens to have a chance this year Jenson has got to start dropping points by not finishing or other problems. If Jenson continues driving the way he is, maybe he won't win races but he will still be there scoring strong points.

“Rubens is always extremely strong at Silverstone, though, because a lot of his early career was spent there. He seems to fit well with the track; he likes it and it suits his driving style. It's not a track that is sensitive to brakes, and that's often an area he finds quite critical on the car. I expect him to go very well this weekend. Jenson has won six races, but Rubens is still hugely motivated by the challenge of beating him.”

Button, however, has sent out a warning shot that he will not easily be beaten in front of his adoring partisan supporters on home soil this weekend – and vowed not to lose his nerve, with compatriot Lewis Hamilton having rather uncharitably been labelled a 'choker' on occasion for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory when the stakes are at their highest.

The current world championship leader may never have ascended the podium in the British Grand Prix in nine previous appearances, but he is hot favourite to prevail around the Northants circuit on Sunday – and he has made no secret of the fact that should he do so, it would be the most memorable triumph of his career to-date.

“I've never felt myself choking under the pressure of having to perform at home,” the 29-year-old insisted. “When you are driving you forget you are racing at Silverstone. It's not a home race when you put your helmet on – you're completely focused and it's just about winning.

“You enjoy it when you pass the chequered flag, but when you're racing you're very selfish. It's all about you and finishing first. That's the way you have to be as a driver.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn BGP001, Ross Brawn (GBR) Team Principal, Brawn GP, Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn BGP001, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 27-29th, March, 2009
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13 race winner

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

[wsfa] JocK6984 - Unregistered

June 18, 2009 2:16 PM

we all know that button has all but won the title already. the only thing that stand in his way is reliability - which lets face it, the brawns cars so far have not had a major issue with. Button seems to have found the confidence not just to be a good driver again, but to turn his good drives into wins. we all say a good workman never blames his tools, but buttons situation should show us that bad tools certainly dont help lets see some more mix ups and get the pack shaken up a little bit again! :D

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.