Barrichello blasts Brawn

AP

Rubens Barrichello launched an extraordinary attack on his Brawn-Mercedes team after the German Grand Prix, accusing them of making him lose the race.

“I’m terribly upset with the way things have gone today,” the Brazilian veteran of nine career GP wins told the BBC, “because it was a very good show of how to lose a race. I did everything I had to. I had to go into the first corner first, and that’s what I did. Then they made me lose the race basically. If we keep going like this, then we will end up losing both championships, which would be terrible.”

He added: “To be honest, I wish I could just get on a plane and go home now. I don’t want to talk to anybody in the team because it would just be a load of ‘blah, blah, blah’. And I don’t want to hear that. I am just terribly upset.”

After qualifying second, Barrichello had out-accelerated the eventual winner, Mark Webber’s Red Bull, into the first corner after the start, but had his efforts thwarted when the Brawn team switched his team-mate Jenson Button and himself to three-stop refuelling strategies. They eventually finished fifth and sixth behind the top four runners, who had all been on two-stop strategies.

It was the second time this season that the Brazilian had hit out at his employers. Barrichello vented his frustration with the team’s tactics after the Spanish GP at Barcelona, where he suspected that Button had been allowed to beat him into second place in the fifth round of the World Championship. But he subsequently calmed down and accepted assurances from the team principal Ross Brawn that the two drivers would always receive equal treatment.

However, Barrichello’s annoyance was compounded during the German GP when he suffered an additional delay at the second of his three refuelling stops when the fuel rig malfunctioned and the back-up rig had to be pressed into action.

For his part, Brawn hinted that he did not think that Barrichello had been quite quick enough.

“I think that is a frustrated racing driver,” he said. “When you have put so much into a race and it has not worked out, that’s what you get sometimes. If you get out of the car thinking that you should have won, and haven’t got all the facts, then that can happen.

Now he has the facts and understands what happened, he’s fine.

“Rubens has been a very important member of the team. He’s stuck through very difficult times, he has a lot of loyalty and that is not something that will be destroyed by a few frustrated words after a race.”

Alan Henry © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2009