Barichello to Push Button for Championship following Monza Victory
The leader of Formula One’s Drivers Championship since the beginning of the season, Jensen Button looks to be in for a fight to stay at the top of the rankings until the season is over, following victory for his Brawn GP teammate, Rubens Barrichello at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.
The Brazilian is now only 14 points behind Button, leaving the possibility of an exciting finish to the season, especially given Ross Brawn’s pledge to allow the drivers to compete openly. The team operated a one-stop strategy for the fastest track of the year, Brawn’s drivers used opposite tyre choices for each stint, with Barrichello on medium, then soft compounds and Button switching the order. Barrichello finished over two seconds ahead of Button, while Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari finished third with a two stop strategy – soft, soft, medium.
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone’s director of Motorsport Tyre Development, said, “This was a thrilling race with a fantastic strategic battle. Even though it was a one stop strategy that won the race, it is difficult to say whether a one or a two stop was better. Both Bridgestone Potenza compounds gave very similar overall performance so there was a good variety of different strategy uses. For Brawn GP in their championship battle this was a good day. We must also mention the fighting spirit of reigning champion Lewis Hamilton who pushed very hard right to the final lap where he was unfortunate not to finish.” Hamilton was unable to turn pole position on the starting grid into a podium finish, though it was only a last-lap crash while attempting to overhaul the Brawns that stopped him taking third.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of Bridgestone Motorsport, said, “Congratulations to Rubens for his second win of the season and Brawn GP for their fourth 1-2 finish this year. We saw an exciting race today and it was interesting to see how the different strategies worked. It is also always good to see a Ferrari driver on the podium on a glorious day in Italy. For Bridgestone, we were pleased that our chairman of the Board, CEO and President, Mr Arakawa, and our other important guests were here to enjoy this great display from Formula One.”