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Barrichello: Brawn should have fought to keep his drivers

Rubens Barrichello adds his voice to that of triple world champion Niki Lauda in suggesting that Ross Brawn has perhaps made a mistake in relying upon an all-new driver line-up at what is now Mercedes Grand Prix in F1 2010...
Rubens Barrichello has suggested that Ross Brawn should have 'fought' to retain the drivers who helped to lead the ex-Honda F1 operation to double world championship glory in 2009 – as mystery continues to surround the identity of Nico Rosberg's team-mate at Brackley in 2010.

Between them, Barrichello and team-mate Jenson Button triumphed eight times over the course of the campaign – and on only six occasions did neither of them make the podium. However, Button has elected to jump ship to join compatriot and title-winning predecessor Lewis Hamilton at McLaren-Mercedes next year, and Barrichello will extend his own record-breaking F1 career into an incredible 18th consecutive season at Williams, meaning Brawn GP – now re-baptised Mercedes Grand Prix, following the Stuttgart manufacturer's takeover – will begin 2010 with all-change on the driver front.

Triple world champion Niki Lauda has already opined that Brawn could come to regret letting Button slip through his fingers over a failure to reach agreement on financial terms [see separate story – click here] – and whilst expressing his 'surprise' at the Briton's departure, Barrichello agreed that had the driver/team principal roles been reversed, he would have done more to keep the pair on-board.

“Honestly, if I were the owner of the Brawn team, I would have fought for the retention of the two drivers for the work that was done during the season,” the 37-year-old Brazilian told Spanish newspaper Diario AS. “Button's decision took me by surprise; I never imagined that he too would leave.”

Despite many musing that the seeds of his own parting had already been sown as early as his post-German Grand Prix outburst at the Nürburgring in July – in which he emotionally and publicly accused the team of 'making me lose the race' – the Paulista insisted that his Williams switch was motivated by a desire he had held since his youngest days, when the Grove-based concern was regularly at the sharp end of the field. Barrichello's hero and countryman Ayrton Senna competed for Williams in 1994, the year in which he was tragically killed at Imola.

“My decision was taken early,” explained the eleven-time grand prix-winner. “It was a childhood dream to drive a Williams, so I signed the contract very rapidly.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rubens Barrichello celebrates his first victory of 2009 for Brawn GP alongside McLaren-Mercedes` runner-up Lewis Hamilton in the European Grand Prix in Valencia [pic credit: Brawn GP]
28.05.2017 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
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28.05.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 retires from the race
28.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
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28.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
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28.05.2017 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) and Chris Hemsworth (AUS) Actor
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28.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
28.05.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 leads Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
28.05.2017 - Race, Vivian wife of Nico Rosberg (GER)
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28.05.2017 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER and Chris Hemsworth (AUS) Actor
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November 29, 2009 9:02 AM

Could not agree with Rubens more Jenson & Rubens showed Honda/Brawn amazing loyalty in not going elsewhere and then to produce such good results it stinks the way Ross Brawn has allowed them to have to go to other teams. Maybe he was just using them to build up the value of the team before he sold it

Meymac Tony - Unregistered

November 29, 2009 12:20 PM

Mr Brawn organised Ferrari from being a typical Italian outfit ( blame rather than resolve culture) to being the leading team .Then took over Honda etc etc. Could it be that he never wanted either Button or RB ? (Re Button next year will prove things.)Brawn thinks beyond his nose unlike many folks.

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