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Page last updated at 07:54 GMT, Monday, 11 May 2009 08:54 UK

Barrichello quit threat to Brawn

Jenson Button celebrates winning in Spain

Spanish Grand Prix in 90 seconds

Rubens Barrichello has threatened to quit Formula 1 if he finds out his Brawn team are favouring Jenson Button.

The Brazilian lost Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix to his team-mate after boss Ross Brawn changed Button's strategy.

"If I get the slightest sniff of the fact that they have favoured Jenson, I will hang up my helmet tomorrow," he told United States channel SpeedTV.

"But I know Ross wouldn't do that. He asked me to drive for him and he knows I want to race fairly with Jenson."

Team orders is a sensitive subject for the veteran Brazilian, who left Ferrari in 2005 a year before the end of his contract because he was fed up with not being allowed to race team-mate Michael Schumacher.

Brawn was Ferrari's technical director at the time.

Rubens Barrichello

Barrichello blames race tactics

Barrichello will also be aware that Button's win extended his lead in the world championship over his team-mate to 14 points - and that there will eventually come a time when Brawn have to focus their efforts on one driver as they seek to fend off the threat from other teams.

Asked if he feared a return to those days with his new team, Barrichello said: "I have had experience of that and if it happens I won't follow any team orders. I'm making this clear now but we have a much more friendly situation in this team.

"There's no way I'm going to be crying and saying I should have this or that. I had the ability to win and I didn't."

Barrichello had expected to win the race after making a brilliant start from third on the grid and leading into the first corner.

Brawn planned for both cars to do three pit stops but they changed Button's strategy at his first stop because they were worried he would otherwise get held up by the Williams of Nico Rosberg - who Barrichello only just emerged ahead of after his first stop.

'Slow' Barrichello disappoints Brawn

Button then proceeded to set an impressive series of times, despite his heavy fuel load early in his second stint.

However, Barrichello remained on target to win until his own second stop - he then had problems with his third set of tyres and lost sufficient time for Button to get ahead.

As the drivers waited to go out on to the podium, Barrichello sat on a sofa and asked: "How did I lose that race?"

He added: "My third set of tyres was not good, I don't know if something was broken on the car. So I couldn't keep the pace up and from then on it was a struggle to keep the car on the track and a relief to come second.

"I'm disappointed I didn't win the race because I felt I had it in the bag today but it's still great for the team."

Brawn denied there had been any decision to favour Button.

"Absolutely not," he insisted. "The strategy change was my decision. The engineers and the drivers pool their information and make their recommendations but I make the call in the pit lane and, good or bad, we stand by it.

MARTIN BRUNDLE COLUMN
Martin Brundle
BBC F1 analyst

"If Rubens hadn't had his problem, it would have been incredibly close.

"If you look at the lap times on the tyres and the fuel, there was a period of the race where Rubens was a lot slower than expected.

"And that's what cost him the race because Jenson on more fuel was quicker."

Speaking on Monday, Brawn also felt that Barrichello's anxiety after the Spain race was a good sign.

"Rubens' unhappiness is natural," he said. "But then any driver who gets beaten and is happy is not a driver I want in the team.

"So the fact Rubens is unhappy is a healthy sign because I would see it as very strange if he was quite content to finish second behind Jenson."



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see also
Martin Brundle column
11 May 09 |  Formula 1
Button wins as Brawn GP dominate
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Button cautious on F1 title hopes
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Red Bull plan upgrade for Monaco
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
Spanish Grand Prix race results
05 May 09 |  Results


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