Brawn one-two as Barrichello wins at Monza

Rubens Barrichello took his second victory of the season with a superb display of race pace in the BGP-001 sealing a one-two result for Brawn at Monza.

The Brazilian benefitted from a single pitstop strategy and thanks to his consistent laptimes that was faster than his rivals, Rubens earned his third victory at the Italian Grand Prix.

By winning the race Barrichello has reduced his team-mate lead in the drivers’ standings to 14 points, with four races remaining.

As for Red Bull Racing, this was a disastrous afternoon with only one point scored by Sebastian Vettel.

The German was unable to match the Brawns pace in the 53-lap race and eighth position was the best he could manage.

His team-mate Mark Webber was forced to retire after a coming together with Robert Kubica’s BMW on the opening lap at the Roggia chicane. That incident has seriously dented the Australian’s chance in the world championship.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished in third (his fourth podium result) though the Finn did inherit that podium place on the final lap when Lewis Hamilton lost control of his McLaren at Lesmo.

Hamilton was unable to make his two-stop strategy work, despite charging away from the field from pole in the opening stint. The world champion was on course for third ahead of Raikkonen and qualifying hero Sutil until his eleventh hour crash at the first Lesmo, which caused the race to finish behind the safety car.

Adrian Sutil came home fourth for Force India with Renault’s Fernando Alonso in fifth. Early race favourite Heikki Kovalainen lost ground in the opening laps and finished in a disappointing sixth.

BMW’s Nick Heidfeld did well to finish in seventh while Hamilton’s late crash allowed Vettel to salvage the final point with eighth. As for Giancarlo Fisichella, driving for the Scuderia for the first time, the Italian finished in a lonely ninth. At least Giancarlo didn’t get lapped unlike his predecessor Luca Badoer…

Further back, the struggling Toyotas provided some late race entertainment as Jarno Trulli bounced off Kazuki Nakajima’s Williams at the Rettifilo chicane, and then had a wheel-to-wheel battle with his team-mate Timo Glock while trying to regain momentum. Nakajima survived for tenth, with Glock securing P11 when Trulli went rally crossing through the gravel trying to hold off his team-mate.

Jarno finished behind Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) but ahead of Romain Grosjean (Renault) and Nico Rosberg (Williams).

Race results from Monza, 53 laps:

1. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1h16:21.706
2. Button Brawn-Mercedes +2.866
3. Raikkonen Ferrari +30.664
4. Sutil Force India-Mercedes +31.131
5. Alonso Renault +59.182
6. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes +1:00.693
7. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +1:22.412
8. Vettel Red Bull-Renault +1:25.427
9. Fisichella Ferrari +1:26.856
10. Nakajima Williams-Toyota +2:00.000
11. Glock Toyota +2:43.925
12. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
13. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
14. Trulli Toyota +1 lap
15. Grosjean Renault +1 lap
16. Rosberg Williams-Toyota +2 laps

Fastest lap: Sutil, 1:24.739

Not classified/retirements:

Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 23 laps
Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 20 laps
Kubica BMW Sauber 16 laps
Webber Red Bull-Renault 1 lap

World Championship standings, round 13:

1. Button 80
2. Barrichello 66
3. Vettel 54
4. Webber 51.5
5. Raikkonen 40
6. Rosberg 30.5
7. Hamilton 27
8. Trulli 22.5
9. Massa 22
10. Alonso 20
11. Kovalainen 20
12. Glock 16
13. Heidfeld 12
14. Kubica 8
15. Fisichella 8
16. Sutil 5
17. Buemi 3
18. Bourdais 2

1. Brawn-Mercedes 146
2. Red Bull-Renault 105.5
3. Ferrari 62
4. McLaren-Mercedes 47
5. Toyota 38.5
6. Williams-Toyota 30.5
7. BMW Sauber 20
8. Renault 20
9. Force India-Mercedes 13
10. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 5

Next race: Singapore Grand Prix, September 25-27

6 thoughts to “Brawn one-two as Barrichello wins at Monza”

  1. The top three drivers’ views after the Italian Grand Prix, as taken from

    Rubens Barrichello said he was short for words after scoring his second win of the season at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday.

    The Brazilian had won the European Grand Prix last month and continued with his momentum, leading Brawn team-mate Jenson Button to another one-two for the Mercedes-powered squad.

    Barrichello, starting from fifth position, admitted he had a difficult night as he was concerned about his gearbox, which in the end the team decided not to replace.

    The delighted Brawn driver admitted the first lap was crucial for his win.

    “It feel greats,” said Barrichello. “Like I said on the lap after I got the chequered flag I have no words. I had a tough night as we didn’t know about the gearbox this or that. We had an over-torque in Spa and there are concerns, but I hope it is going to do the four races.

    “It was great to do a good start. Kovi was coming quite fast with that power button and I had to defend myself and I went wide so it was a bit tough. But it was great first lap and it made my race. The pace was great, the brakes were great – it was a bit like Valencia, with the pace there all the time.

    “I feel great, it feels really good with all this public, they are more in red than white but it still feels great.”

    The victory allowed Barrichello to continue to close the gap on Button in the standings, the Brazilian now 14 points adrift with four races left.

    With the Red Bull drivers now out of contention, Barrichello says he is now expecting a “healthy” fight with Button.

    “It feels great, it is a winning year whatever happens. It is not long ago that we had no jobs, we didn’t know what was going to happen so we are finally driving a fantastic car with a fantastic engine with a team doing a fantastic job.

    “I must thank them for all their efforts, the strategy was great, the work we did on Friday was fantastic, so it is really good.

    “We both had different tyres and different strategy but the car was good on both of them. I am going to give my very best and there will be a good and a healthy fight and I am looking forward to that.”

    Jenson Button believes his first lap pass on Heikki Kovalainen was the key to minimising the victorious Rubens Barrichello’s inroads into his championship lead at the Italian Grand Prix.

    Button was ultimately able to take second behind Brawn team-mate Barrichello at Monza. The Brazilian had passed Kovalainen’s McLaren – which lacked race pace – off the line, and Button was able to follow him into the second Lesmo as Kovalainen lost ground trying to overtake Barrichello again.

    “It was a messy lap but I made up a position which was fantastic,” said Button. “You are always wary at the start because of KERS cars, [Fernando] Alonso did not get the jump and Kovy was struggling. He braked late and these two [Barrichello and Kimi Raikkonen] nearly came together.

    “I was sat behind Kovy at the second chicane and at Lesmo I put a nose inside and got him into Lesmo 2. It was a much needed move as without that I probably would have finished third or fourth.”

    He admitted that Barrichello had been the quicker of the Brawn duo this weekend.

    “It’s great to be up here in second,” said Button. “I would like to where Rubens is sat, but he did a better job this weekend. I lost two points here but gained seven on [Sebastian] Vettel. This guy here [Barrichello] is my closest rival, but we have a good relationship.”

    Button came under pressure from Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages, but looked set to hang on to second even before the McLaren crashed on the final lap.

    “Lewis started pushing in the last three laps,” said Button. “I had him pretty much covered, it’s very difficult to pass even with KERS. I don’t know what happened but a big shunt for him and for me a great result.”

    Kimi Raikkonen said he was satisfied with third place in the Italian Grand Prix as he did not think Ferrari had the pace to do much better on home ground.

    The Finn resisted pressure from Adrian Sutil’s Force India all afternoon, then gained the final spot on the podium when Lewis Hamilton crashed on the last lap.

    “We got the third with a gift but it doesn’t matter,” said Raikkonen. “It is not the perfect position for me and team but at least we scored the points we needed.

    “We got the most out of the car this weekend, it’s good for fans and much better than finishing fourth. We will keep pushing as hard as we can, we know some cars are quicker than us, but maybe at some races we can challenge for the win. Everything worked well for us, and guys did some good hard work.”

    Raikkonen looked like he might lose out to Sutil with a bad final pitstop, but the German had an equally messy stop and remained behind the Ferrari.

    “I was in a hurry to get out because it was going to be very quick,” Raikkonen explained. “The lollipop guy moved a bit, he put it up and then down. Luckily enough the fuel rig was out, we lost a little bit of time but not too much.

    “It would not have been enough to beat McLaren in the pitstop but we could keep Force India behind. In the end it did not make much difference.”

  2. Lewis Hamilton missed out on scoring a podium finish when he crashed out on the first Lesmo on lap 53. The world champion has admiited he was not surprised to drop out of the race after driving flat-out. Read on for his views on the Italian Grand Prix courtesy of

    Lewis Hamilton said he was not too surprised to crash out of the Italian Grand Prix, claiming he was pushing like in qualifying for the whole race.

    The McLaren driver lost control of his car at the Lesmo corner with less than two laps to go and crashed heavily against the barriers.

    Hamilton, in third having started from pole, was pushing hard to catch Jenson Button.

    The Briton was uninjured and he claimed the crash was expected as he was trying too hard.

    “It’s built like a rock so it’s all good,” Hamilton told the BBC.

    He added: “Every lap I was pushing like a qualifying lap so it’s to be expected. We didn’t have the pace and I was pushing as hard as I could. I can only say I’m sorry to the team.

    “They did a great job and we weren’t quick enough this weekend but I did all I could to catch the Brawns and to win it for them [the team]. I apologise to all my fans and send my love to my family.”

    Although Hamilton said his car has improved a lot, the world champion admitted it was still lacking pace compared to the Brawns.

    “I would say it’s a lot better, you know, the car was still good today, just not good enough. The Brawns were just a little bit better.

    “We’ve got some upgrades coming and hopefully that will give us a little bit of an edge and maybe I won’t have to push 130 per cent, maybe I can push 110 per cent.”

    McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh praised Hamilton’s determination despite the crash.

    “I’ve not been to the garage, but obviously the team’s really disappointed,” he said. “Lewis is just a racer, just pushes and pushes and that’s what he was doing. He’d just set a purple [fastest] sector, he was racing to the very end and that’s how he is. You don’t want to change that in a great, great champion and a great racing driver like Lewis.

    “But, obviously, real disappointment that here he had a sub-optimal strategy, probably seven seconds slower than a one stop, he was there though fighting with the Brawns at the end of that race so he was the ever competitive, just pushing like hell.

    He added: “He didn’t explain on the radio but you can see he set the fastest, purple, first sector on that last lap. He knew it was one lap to go, just lost it coming out of Lesmo and I think it was just pushing so hard. He wants to win and compete all the time and he was homing in on Jenson. That’s what he wanted to do.”

    Whitmarsh said there were thoughts about telling Hamilton to bring the car home only after the accident.

    “There are now, of course. But, I think we are a racing team, he was there to push and he’s now an experienced racing driver. It’s not in his spirit and his mode. We can criticise ourselves, we can criticise Lewis but that’s what makes Lewis the great racing driver and the world champion that he is.

    “He pushes every single lap, as he did throughout this race. It didn’t quite work out for him this weekend and it’s disappointing but we’ll rebuild, he’ll rebuild and we’ll be in Singapore trying to win that race.

  3. Sebastian Vettel says the championship is not over yet despite a disappointing result at the Italian Grand Prix.

    The Red Bull driver finished the Monza race in eighth position, while championship leaders Brawn secured a one-two finished, with Rubens Barrichello leading Jenson Button.

    Button is now 14 points ahead of Barrichello, with Vettel in third, 26 points adrift with only 40 to play for.

    Vettel admitted his team simply was not quick enough at Monza, but the German refused to give up on the title.

    “I think we had a good start and a good first lap, but then I was struggling to stay with the cars in front,” said Vettel.

    “The biggest issue today was the first five to ten laps when I was struggling with low grip, I was sliding a lot and lost a lot of time.

    “Overall, we didn’t have the speed and perhaps this wasn’t the best track for our car. For the next race we will put more downforce in again and maybe we’ll be better, we will see. The championship isn’t over – our target is to do our best, we’re here to win races and the championship, so we have to focus on that, all the rest is out of our hands.”

    Team-mate Mark Webber also had a day to forget after he made contact with Robert Kubica at the second chicane on the first lap.

    The Australian retired on the spot and is now 28.5 points behind Button.

    “I had a reasonable start, I was trying to find a good line through the chicane,” Webber said. “I had Sebastian in front, so I was pretty clean as I didn’t want to get tangled up with him.

    Both of us got through the first chicane, I was following Sebastian into the next, but then had a racing incident with Robert Kubica. It seems like his front wheel was inside my rear left at the second chicane, it was difficult to know he was there.

    “We had contact which flicked the car into the air a little bit, then nosed it into the guard rail. The car was undamaged, but I couldn’t get it out and back onto the track. I couldn’t have done anything differently.

    “It’s frustrating to retire through such a small incident, especially when all the guys have put so much effort into preparing the car. It’s not great for the drivers’ championship, but this is my first DNF of the year. We will bounce back from this and do what we can in the final races.”


  4. Adrian Sutil was delighted with his performance at the Italian Grand Prix despite just missing out on a podium finish.

    Sutil, starting from second position, wound up fourth for his Force India team after a race-long battle with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

    The German was unable to pass the Finn, who made good use of his KERS to keep Sutil at bay.

    Despite that, Sutil was very happy with his first points of the season.

    “It was a great race and the car was performing really well,” said Sutil. “At the start we knew it would be really difficult to defend our position against Kimi and his KERS button and then I was stuck behind him the whole race. I was really quick but I just couldn’t find a way past him as the KERS had such a big effect on the circuit.

    “Going into my second stop we had a chance to overtake him in the pitlane and I was pushing really hard but I was a bit late on the brakes into the box. I think I have to say sorry to the mechanics for going a bit wide! But still they did a great job there.

    “The race pace overall was very good but finally the one-stop strategy worked better than the two-stop. All the same we scored a lot of points and I am really, really happy for myself and all of the team at the track and back in the factory and wind tunnel.”

    Vitantonio Liuzzi, on the other hand, had a disappointing day after having to retire with a mechanical problem while running strongly in the points.

    “Finally, I am racing again and I gave it 100%,” Liuzzi said. “We didn’t make any mistakes and everything was perfect until we were in a great position, but that’s racing unfortunately. I had an unusual problem, the transmission started making a strange noise and then I lost drive and couldn’t push.

    “That’s racing it was just a shame as we didn’t have a reliability problem until now, but that’s how it is. We won’t give up though until the end of the season, we want to get lots of points and I am sure we will make it.”

    Toyota duo Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli said their spectacular late-race dice at Monza gave them something to smile about on a poor weekend for the team.

    Glock and Trulli went wheel to wheel for several corners after the latter lost ground making contact with Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima. Trulli then went through the gravel at the Lesmos, falling to 14th while Glock claimed 12th.

    “It wasn’t the result we wanted but at least it was good entertainment,” said Glock. “I had already been fighting with Jarno when I came out of the pits; it was quite tight but he got ahead.

    “Then towards the end I could see him try to overtake Kazuki Nakajima but he hit the kerbs and bounced wide. We had a nice battle and made sure we kept it clean. In the end I was on the inside so I won the fight.”

    Trulli added: “I was behind Nakajima for much of the race and I felt I was able to go faster but it was difficult to overtake. Towards the end I was getting a bit bored to be honest and I tried really hard to find an opportunity.

    “As soon as I saw a little space I just dived in and braked very late. The move was almost okay but there wasn’t quite enough space and unfortunately I hit the kerb and then I had a bit of a fight with Timo. That was good fun and I enjoyed it.

    “I was always on the outside line but I kept fighting because it is better to have a bit of action and in the end it doesn’t make much different if I am 11th or 14th. At least I tried because it wasn’t an exciting race for me otherwise.”

    Glock is optimistic that the team will be in better shape for the next race at least.

    “It was never going to be easy to get much out of this race but Singapore is a different track and we will have some new bits on the car so we should have a decent chance,” he said.


  5. Robert Kubica said he assumed Mark Webber had not realised he was so close when they touched on the first lap of the Italian Grand Prix.

    The incident forced Webber to retire – and effectively ended his world championship hopes – while Kubica sustained wing damage and had to pit for repairs. He later dropped out with an oil leak.

    “I made a very good start and was in quite a good position before the first braking point,” said Kubica.

    “I was on the left hand side of Mark Webber. I guess he did not see me at all. Mark pushed me on the grass while I was on the brakes. Although I managed to come back on the track, we touched in corner one.

    “In Roggia he was on the outside and slightly in front of me. When we were going into the first apex unfortunately again I was not able to avoid him.

    “I ended up with a damaged front wing, but am not sure how this happened as it could have been with my fight with Mark or I could have hit a kerb.”

    While Kubica’s race quickly fell apart, his team-mate Nick Heidfeld made rapid progress and came through from 15th on the grid to seventh – to his delight.

    “I’m totally happy, as for me it was a great race,” he said. “Coming seventh may not sound fantastic, but from 15th on the grid that really was the best I could do today.

    “The start itself wasn’t good at all, I almost lost positions. But then in the first corner I managed to overtake one car on the outside and then in the chicane I went to the inside to overtake Jarno Trulli.

    “On lap three I overtook Giancarlo Fisichella, which I thought would be impossible because he has KERS on his car.

    “Then when I was behind Sebastian Vettel I started to save fuel. After our pit stops he was behind me, and I was eighth before Lewis Hamilton crashed on the last lap and I benefited by scoring one more point.”


  6. Fernando Alonso says his goal for the remaining four races of the season is to score a podium or even a victory after finishing in fifth at the Italian Grand Prix.

    The Renault driver was set for sixth position but moved up a place after Lewis Hamilton crashed his McLaren on the penultimate lap of the race.

    Alonso’s result equaled his best of the season so far, but he insists Renault must aim for the top three in the remaining four races.

    “I’m very happy with the result today, although at the start the KERS did not meet my expectations,” said the Spaniard. “In the race I had good pace, the car behaved perfectly and our strategy worked well.

    “Finishing in fifth position is a good result, but the objective for the rest of the season is a podium or even a victory.”

    Team-mate Romain Grosjean finished the race in 15th position after having to deal with a damaged car for most of the event.

    “I’m very disappointed with today’s race,” he said. “My start was very poor and I need to try and understand why. I had some contact in the first chicane and so the car was damaged for the rest of my race, which made things difficult and impossible to score any points.

    “The challenge now is to continue to progress and try to get closer to Fernando in qualifying.”


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