Did Rubens have a point?

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Well after several people in and around the pits were sent running from the flying toys coming from outside the Brawn garage it's time we asked the question "Did Rubens have a point?"

For those of you who may have missed Ruben's rant he said "the team gave a perfect demonstration of how to loose a GP". When asked "did he mean that the team were favouring Jenson" he replied "no he was not saying that but the team did a bad job".

Now I think there are one or two things in Rubens favour here. We all heard Rubens ask to change to a two stopper (or at least we presumed it was and so did Martin Brundle) even before the race began. During the race Ruben's again came on the Radio and seemed to ask several times for a change of pit stop strategy. For that matter Jenson also asked the team for a strategy change and was rebuffed.

I don't think the team were favouring Jenson and also Rubens had the problem with his fuel rig that could have happened to either driver however it was clear today that the Brawn team didn't do a great job.

The facts against Rubens however are the fact that he made little or no head way when he was stuck behind Massa. He had a faster car (2 seconds a lap faster once Massa had pitted) and yet couldn't find a way past. There was some overtaking this race and Jenson pulled off a couple so the Brawn car was capable of over taking.

As Martin Brundle pointed out the "Next 9 laps are crucial" radio call is missleading because as Brundle said there is no way that Rubens could have pulled out enough time for a 3 stopper to work at that point of the race. I have heard a pundit on Radio 5 this afternoon say that Rubens just wasn't fast enough and sited the "next 9 laps" message as proof that Rubens wasn't on the pace.

When looking at the fors and againsts I think that Brawn dropped the ball for both Rubens and Jenson this weekend and Rubens does have a point but his rant against the team will be misread as a rant against Jenson and in this case I don't think it was.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I can see Barrichello's frustrations. He got past Webber at the first corner and led away. Because of strategy, he finished 6th, 20 seconds down the road with the Aussie having a drive-thru penalty!

His team was really daft! Three-stoppers in general do not work!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I must admit it was a strange result for Rubens considering both he and Mark ran away with it in the first stint thanks to Heikki holding everyone up.

Mark served a drive-through penalty and yet still finished 20 seconds ahead of Rubens.

Some very poor strategy by the Brawn team and not the first time this season either.

I think it was Mark Brundle who said the difference between a 2 stop and 3 stop strategy was only 1 second but something clearly went wrong today.

Have Brawn said why they didn't switch him to a 2 stop strategy during the race?
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Reubens simply wasn't quick enough. It got to the point where he was holding Jenson up. If he had let him through, brawn wouldhave had 1 or 2 extra points. I think he really needs to lookat his own speed during a race and then try to think about how stupid he looked with his outburst.

If I had been JB, I would have had serious words..
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Did you hear EJ's comments afterwards? I paraphrase but it was along the lines of "Brawn GP pays his wages, he should be gratfeul he has a job and should keep his gob shut!".

Personally I think Rubens has been treated very badly by Brawn this year and this was probably the final straw. Having worked in various jobs where you try to change things from the inside and nothing happens there comes a point where the only way to make things change is to go higher up the tree; in Rubens' case this was to discuss it with the press. Well done him, I don't think it helps his long term job prospects though.

One final point, I think any break down within the team will have a big effect on Button's title ambitions as general consesus is that Rubens sets the cars up and Jenson then goes out and wins.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Fat Bloke said:
Well done him, I don't think it helps his long term job prospects though.
This is probably his last season so I doubt it will make much difference.

One final point, I think any break down within the team will have a big effect on Button's title ambitions as general consesus is that Rubens sets the cars up and Jenson then goes out and wins.
That's a good point but I doubt Rubens is the type to deliberately sabotage his own team's chances.
Of course if he leaves the team mid-season then that will have an impact.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
According to BBC Teletext, Ross Brawn has come out and said the besides there being the fuel rig problem there was also a "Problem with Ruben's Radio".

Yep, I'll say that again "There was a problem hearing Ruben's over the Radio".

Now someone bring me my rat I wish to smell it !!! LOL

I while back we had the drivers count for only 20% of the perfomance of a car. Well I think we saw a couple examples today of the teams telling the drivers to put up and shut up. I had to chuckle when Lewis was told to worry about driving and let the team worry about the car !! Nothing like talking down to your driver.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
cider_and_toast said:
Now someone bring me my rat I wish to smell it !!! LOL
LOL

I had to chuckle when Lewis was told to worry about driving and let the team worry about the car !! Nothing like talking down to your driver.
Yes I had a little chuckle about that too.
You can't really blame him though, it was obvious his race was over within 5 seconds so he might as well have parked it up, saved the engine and gearbox and enjoyed the race :D
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
You can't really blame him though, it was obvious his race was over within 5 seconds so he might as well have parked it up, saved the engine and gearbox and enjoyed the race :D

Exactly Bro but instead he got a public slap down. :snigger:

It's funny but it's part of a wider issue of the weekend with teams seemingly ignoring the wishes/thoughts/ideas of their drivers. Heiki had a problem in the pits where he was asking for Dry tyres during qualification and the team seemed set on fitting the car with wets.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Apparently Brawn couldn't do a 2 stop strategy due to tyre problems:
James Allen said:
The Brackley squad had to go with three-stop strategies on both cars because they couldn’t get the hard tyres to work and they were limited to short stints on the softs because they were graining so badly in the cold conditions.

Also noticed this:
James Allen said:
Their situation is not helped by the internal row with Rubens Barrichello getting very annoyed by the refuelling problem which cost him a shot at the win and at the way the team switched the order of the final stops, bringing him in first when all through the race he had been pitting after Button.

I didn't notice the order had changed.
I suspect that was deliberate to get Jenson ahead as Rubens was slower.
So in some respects you can sympathise with Rubens but F1 is a team sport so you could argue Brawn did what was best for the team.

Full article: James Allen's German GP verdict
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
i watched the summary.

it was odd to see pieces of the tyres fly off the brawns and to hear the drivers yell for help and teams saying 'nah, no problem. just drive on'. what is going on? cos i certainly cannot remember this happening before. although i did notice the minute massa was out of the way, rubens did go a lot faster.

LH suffered a flat tyre and apparently seriously damaged his floorboard and still he valiantly drove on. even though he asked the team to park the car. another odd one. apparantly the team kept him out cos of airtime and sponsor visibility.

i have to say, from the summary it did look like brawn had an odd tyre strategy. this mentioning by james allen of the hard tyres is odd, although we do know the brawn works less well in cold environments. i might not be technical, but wouldn't the hard tyres start working after a while? aren't a few slow laps still better then an all out pits stop?

but overall, i think rubens should basically drive a bit faster, really.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I feel sorry for Rubens. The Brawn obviously didn't work at all on the harder tyres, as Brundle said on the commentary, you usually get a graining phase but once the tyre wears down a bit the grip comes back - the Brawns never seemed to get their grip back yesterday.

He was very unlucky to be caught behind Massa - as I have pointed out elsewhere, passing a KERS car is an unenviable job - but you could also argue that if he had been a bit quicker earlier in the race he wouldn't have been behind the Ferrari, would he?

The timing of the last stops was very interesting. We'll never know who had the most fuel on board, I'm sure. If Rubens had stopped a lap later than Jenson he'd have stood a good chance of retaining position.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
The timing of the last stops was very interesting. We'll never know who had the most fuel on board, I'm sure. If Rubens had stopped a lap later than Jenson he'd have stood a good chance of retaining position

Great point GM. I got a bit wound up this morning while listening to a Radio 5 Live F1 guy (can't remember his name) saying that Rubens was paranoid and Jenson only got past beccause of his 1.1 second faster in lap.

As you say, if Rubens wasn't expecting to be called in first then he would have had no reason to push so hard on his in lap. Once he had pitted and came out on cold tyres and heavy fuel he had no chance to respond any way.

I'm not sure what tyres Brawn used on Ruben's car and in what order but I'm sure I remember Martin Brundle saying that at the time Rubens came in for the stop when his fuel rig failed to work he was still using the one type of tyre which would have required him to pit again any way for the other type. I believe that Ruben's started on hard and pitted twice for hards and went on to soft only at his final pit stop.

The question is would the Brawn have made it to the end on softs after the second pit stop? and if hards were no good why didn't they go to softs sooner?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
cider_and_toast said:
I'm not sure what tyres Brawn used on Ruben's car and in what order but I'm sure I remember Martin Brundle saying that at the time Rubens came in for the stop when his fuel rig failed to work he was still using the one type of tyre which would have required him to pit again any way for the other type. I believe that Ruben's started on hard and pitted twice for hards and went on to soft only at his final pit stop.

The question is would the Brawn have made it to the end on softs after the second pit stop? and if hards were no good why didn't they go to softs sooner?

I'm pretty sure both Brawns went SOFT - SOFT - HARD - SOFT on their tyre choices. I have heard it suggested on 606 that Brawn intended to fuel Barrichello to the end at his second stop but because of the fuel rig problem could not do so - the reserve tank being set to only put in a smaller amount of fuel. I don't know whether that's true or not - the radio communications seemed to be inconsistent with that.

The strategy for Brawn was badly compromised by the choice of a reasonably fast soft tyre, with very high wear, and a very slow hard tyre. They wanted to be on the soft as much as possible but didn't think it would last long enough to make a 2-stop strategy an option.

In any event Rubens was very much slower on the hard tyres than Button.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
Hey, it's a team sport. Brawn and their drivers (who are also Brawn) would have liked a 1/2 finish.

If Reubens had had a car between him and Jensen, or been in a position to pass the car in front of him, they would have probably helped him try and let them sort out their order on the track with no bias.

As it was, after the final pit stop, Jenson came out in front 10 seconds down the road from Nico - spent 4 or 5 laps trying to catch him on the faster tyre option before they got trashed and he fell back into Reubens and Alonso.

Two reasons for putting Jenson in front, one point won't change the world within the team, but for the last two years it has won the championship - Jenson was already 23 points in front, who would you have wanted to lead. Also, if you had a chance at a short stint hard charge ending in an overtake and you had a choice of the Brawn drivers to do the job, who would you choose?

I am convinced Brawn did maneuver Jenson to the front, but for the team more than the drivers long term aspirations. They just didn't have the best car, bad luck with Reuben's 2nd stop but I don't think Reubens did a bad job, I just think that once Heikki was out of the way Jenson did a slightly better one, and has done on average through the season to date. One must not forget that all the commentators applauded the fact the Webber backed up Massa to purely ensure that Vettel achieved 2nd.

Reubens is a good driver who feels his equal stradning slipping away and is getting pissed off about it - no big shock there, if he didn't want to win and get frustrated by mistakes and weaknesses he wouldn't be involved in F1, his real problem is that he feels he's going back down the road to his Ferrari days
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I take your point, but Rubens has been the quicker of the two Brawns at the last couple of races, and yet still it seems he is shuffled back behind Jenson whenever possible.

If Brawn has decided to back Jenson for the championship then he has to tell Rubens that up front. At least at Ferrari it was in the contract in black and white.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Now this is starting to become annoying. Look at these two quotes from the Beeb:

"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 'bla bla bla' and I don't want to hear that."

"To be very honest with you I wish I could get on the plane and go home right now. I don't want to talk to anybody in the team because I don't want to understand, there will be a lot of 'blah blah blah' and I don't want to hear that."

The first is quote is taken from the live "German GP as it happened" feed

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsp ... 146066.stm

The second is taken from the beeb article "Barichello turns on Brawn team"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsp ... 146728.stm

So where did the "I don't want to understand" bit come from in the later article. ??

There has been some good analysis on here about the pro's and con's of the Brawn teams race and the general feeling seems to be that while they were off the pace they team didn't help themselves with the strategy and Rubens may have come off worse than Jenson as a result. In the media they seem quite content to paint Rubens as some sort of paranoid nutter. Very strange.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
here are the tyre strategies for the brawns in germany

Button Brawn GP S-Soft S-Soft Med S-Soft
Barrichello Brawn GP S-Soft S-Soft Med Med

ehhh.... if the med (or hard tyre) was not that good, then why the difference between the 2?

from the head to head on f1 matrix some fun things can be seen too

http://www.f1matrix.it/gp_2009/09/mac.html

in all cases both drivers have pit stops one lap after the other.

first stint (13 laps button, 14 laps barrichello) , rubens whacks button, lead of 21 secs, rubens is faster in every lap. barrichello 1.5 sec faster pit stop
second stint (18 laps both), button whacks barrichello, lead drops to 9 sec, button faster in most of the laps but towards the end the situation tilts and barrichello is faster

then something happens with the pit stop of barrichello, 4 secs longer then button, this is actually in the lap. not so much in the stop itself, barrichello 0.6 sec slower pit stop

third stint (19 laps barrichello, 20 laps button), button again outpacing barrichello in most laps so at the end of the stint both are 0.7 sec apart. barrichello 0.9 sec slower pit stop
fourth stint (9 laps button, 10 laps barrichello), the sequence changes, now barrichello pits first while before this was button, equality. no real changes in lap time anymore, which is odd cos they have different tyres

so barrichello seems to lose it in the second stint. then has a problem exiting the pits and then gets 'slower' tyres. so it does seem something went really wrong with barrichello and his strategy. basically, the fourth stint for barrichello was not planned and was cos of problems. most likely fuel
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
Over tha last few Races Jenson has been easier on the softer tyres, so Rubens may not have been comfortable with them. Surprising thing was the tyre wear for the two Brawn though, even in the end short stint Rubens had wear problems on the harder tyres, could it be that Brawn knew they were well off the pace and really toe'd the tyres in (is that the correct wording?) in order to maximise mechanical grip in the corners at the cost of wear?

If they did that, that would explain their preference for the harder tyres and the need for the three stop strategy regardless of the apparent tactical advantage of switching Rubens, and belie the poor tactics angle.
 
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