A frustrated Rubens Barrichello raged at his Brawn GP team on Sunday after a mistake cost him a shot at winning the German Grand Prix.
The Brazilian driver was visibly upset after a fuel rig problem meant an extra pit stop that left him sixth in a race that he had led from the opening corner.
“I’m terribly upset with the way things have gone. I did all I had to do. They made me lose the race,” Barrichello said. “To be very honest, I wish I could get on the plane and go home. I don’t want to talk to anyone in the team. It will be all ‘blah, blah, blah’ and I don’t want to hear that.”
The gaffe meant Barrichello dropped from second to fourth overall in the race for the F1 title, which is led by teammate Jenson Button.
“I can still have a good season because I’m very good at straightening things up and tolerating if I need to, but at the end of the day, if this is what it’s all about, I can quit quite quickly at the end of the year,” Barrichello said.
Barrichello said his frustration boiled down to losing valuable points in the championship race after Mark Webber led a second straight Red Bull one-two.
He did not sound convinced by the team’s reasoning, especially when he felt he deserved to come in last for his final pit, an honor that went to Button, who was able to get out just in front of his teammate with nine laps to go.
“Apparently, because of all the problems he had at the beginning, he was able to save more fuel. That’s the explanation,” Barrichello said. “A guy who is leading the race in the first lap shouldn’t finish sixth. I’m very much a fair guy, but justice for me is everything in life and that’s why I demand answers from everything. [It’s] not my intention to get into a fight with the team because I want to win the championship as well.”
Button thought his teammate should get over it.
“The fuel rig he had a problem with, which cost him four or five seconds, and then he didn’t have the pace on the hard tires. That’s it and I was stuck behind him, so it screwed my race as well,” Button said. “It didn’t just damage his race, but damaged mine as well.”
Team principal Ross Brawn said that a malfunctioning radio didn’t help Barrichello get the full picture.
“Those things happen. It was unfortunate and he’s very frustrated,” Brawn said. “When you have the 11th-fastest time in the race, you can’t win it whatever strategy you have. It’s not possible.”
It was the second time this season that Barrichello was left wondering at team tactics after missing out on a possible victory.
At the Spanish GP in May, he was kept on a three-stop pit strategy and finished second, while Button, who went on to win, was switched during the race to a two-stop strategy.
“Accept it, that’s all I can do,” Barrichello said on Sunday. “It’s in my best intention to do that.”
Button expected the British team to bounce back at Hungary after finishing off the podium for the first time in nine races this season.
“We all have problems in racing, it’s happened to many people before,” Button said. “We’ve both had a very reliable car this year and we haven’t had many problems. Different things happen, it’s the luck of the draw. I’m sure it will happen to someone else next time.”