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  Wednesday, 26 June, 2002, 21:55 GMT 22:55 UK
Ferrari deny fixing Barrichello win
Rubens Barrichello leads Michael Schumacher in the closing stages of the European Grand Prix
Barrichello deserved to win, Schumacher said
Ferrari boss Jean Todt has insisted Rubens Barrichello's victory at the European Grand Prix was not timed to appease motor racing chiefs before their disciplinary hearing later this week.

The Brazilian triumphed in Sunday's European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring after the drivers were ordered not to race each other in the later stages.

Barrichello's victory was belated justice after he was ordered to move over for the four-time champion in Austria in May when set for victory.

The drivers and Ferrari have to appear before the World Council of FIA, the sport's governing body, in Paris to explain their actions and the farce of a podium ceremony when Schumacher pushed Barrichello onto the top step.


What went on in the race (in Austria) was unpopular but it was not illegal
Ross Brawn
Ferrari technical director

But asked if the decision to let Barrichello win was determined by the forthcoming hearing, sporting director Todt claimed: "Not at all. We did not have Wednesday in mind.

"I am not getting into what I think about the FIA because I will only be able to comment when we have the hearing. I am not at all expecting a difficult situation."

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn revealed the team's race plan after Barrichello had held off the challenge of the four-times world champion at the Nurburgring.

Brawn also said that Schumacher's commanding championship lead had influenced the decision.

Barrichello and Schumacher were told before Sunday's race in Germany that they could battle until the final pit stop but must conserve their cars after that.

"Life is a learning process and we learned in Austria that there were some things we would handle differently," Brawn said.

"Plus the championship has moved on a bit since Austria and there was no need for team orders.

"It was agreed before the race that both drivers were allowed to race until the last pit stop and then we asked them to conserve their positions."


Rubens didn't make a mistake - so he deserves to win and I deserve to be second
Michael Schumacher

Brawn added: "We don't deny there are things we wish we had handled differently [in Austria.

"What went on in the race (in Austria) was unpopular but it was not illegal."

Ferrari's decision meant that Schumacher's spin on lap 23 effectively decided the race.

The German lost 10 seconds and was unable to catch Barrichello before the final pit stops.

Schumacher backed the decision to leave Barrichello in the lead even though the German had been the fastest man in the race.

"I think I spun because I got too close to Rubens and lost some grip, but I had to be close because the pit stops were coming up," said Schumacher.

"I was giving it everything after that, but after my final stop I ran into some backmarkers.


In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

News and reaction

Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
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