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GP Week : Issue 18
Barrichello could have been second RUBENS Barrichello’s amazing drive to third place in the British Grand Prix was hampered by a fuel rig problem which cost the Brazilian a potential second position. Honda Racing F1 Team Principal Ross Brawn told reporters at Silverstone that the faulty rig cost the team an even better result than the unexpected third place finish they achieved with the Brazilian. “We had a problem with the fuel rig which really probably cost us second place, so that’s frustrating, but we shouldn’t be too greedy. Rubens had a great race. He really pushed when he had to, and the middle of the race was fantastic. It was a bit like the old days. The team did a great job as well. Some great calls during the race and we had the right tyres at the right time.” Honda Racing’s CEO Nick Fry confirmed to GPWeek that the gamble to change onto extreme wet tyres had been Barrichello’s own choice, after the team itself had compromised its own qualifying efforts to concentrate on a wet set-up. “We knew we were in with a chance if the weather was wet. We could have gone a bit faster in qualifying if the truth be known. We wouldn’t have been at the front but probably three or four places higher up the grid if we’d have optimised the car for the dry conditions but we figured it would be wet and our best chance so we spent the time into putting downforce on the car.” “[The choice of tyres] was Rubens’. He called very quickly when it started to pour with rain and in those conditions you have to trust the driver. He’s the guy who knows best as to what he wants. The conditions around the track were different and it was Rubens’ call. “I think Rubens would be almost insulted if we credited this with experience. He’s fast and you have to be to compete in Formula 1. I’m just so pleased he’s got a podium again.” McLAREN CEO Ron Dennis has told Heikki Kovalainen that “his time will come” following the Finn’s ultimate disappointment at the British Grand Prix. Kovalainen had been the stand out McLaren driver of the weekend up until Sunday, with Lewis Hamilton trailing in his team-mate’s wake for much of the running. Kovalainen’s pole position on Saturday, the first of his career, was a clear indication of his pace and potential on the British circuit, but Sunday’s race result of fifth was not at all what the Finn had hoped for. “It was an extremely difficult race,” said Kovalainen. “It was so easy to get caught out today by aquaplaning and slippery conditions: I spun twice but I was not the only one. At least I scored four points and helped to increase our constructors’ points total.” “Heikki qualified superbly yesterday,” Dennis said after the race. “He clearly showed that he is truly world class. He shouldn’t feel too disappointed today because he demonstrated once again that his racing skills are beyond question. His time will come.” Kovalainen’s time will come 30