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Barrichello will ignore team orders

May 11, 2009 14:53 IST

Rubens Barrichello ruled out playing a subservient role to Brawn GP team mate Jenson Button on Sunday and said he would quit Formula One if he got the slightest sniff that the Briton is being favoured.

The Brazilian, who finished second to the championship leader after a sudden strategy switch at the Spanish Grand Prix, told a Speed TV reporter he would "hang up his helmet" if he suspected the team are not giving him an equal chance.

So-called 'team orders' are banned in Formula One, with Barrichello having suffered from them during his years at Ferrari as loyal sidekick to seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher.

In the most notorious incident that caused uproar around the world and led to the clampdown on team orders, Barrichello had to let Schumacher overtake and win the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix.

Ross Brawn, who was technical director of Ferrari at the time, denied after Sunday's race that there had been any attempt to favour Button by switching him to a two-stop strategy while keeping Barrichello, who was leading, on three.

"I'd love to see Rubens win a race and see his crew win a race because it would be great for the team," he told reporters.

Barrichello, who overtook Button into the first corner for the lead, told a news conference that he would ignore any team orders anyway.

"I'm very experienced with that, and if that happens, I won't follow any team orders any more. I'm making it clear now, so everybody knows," he said with Button sitting alongside.

Button pointed out that he had not requested the switch to a strategy that he had expected would in fact favour his team mate, and Barrichello made clear he was not accusing anyone.


"It's much more different than it used to be at Ferrari. We have a much more friendly situation, so I'm not sitting down on the side blaming this or that," he said.

"The race was finished half an hour ago and that's the way it went. There's no way I'm going to be crying here and saying I should have done this or that."

Barrichello, who will be 37 during the next Monaco Grand Prix at the end of the month, has not won a race since he was at Ferrari in 2004 and many in the sport had written off his chances of competing this year after Honda's dismal 2008 season.

Brawn's emergence from the remains of departed Honda threw him a lifeline but he has found Button as hard to beat as Schumacher was. Button has won four of the five races so far while Barrichello has two second places.

"It's in the best interests of myself to learn what went wrong today because I had the ability to win the race but I didn't and this is a full stop," said the Brazilian.

"Jenson is on a flyer and he's doing very well ... there's a bit more pressure on my side, obviously, because he's won four races and I've won nothing but I'm there, I'm working and I won't stop working.

"I'm definitely raising my hands to the sky to give thanks because this is a great car. It was not long ago that people were putting flowers on my grave and saying `thank you very much for your job' and so on," he added.

"So I'm here, very much alive and happy and I'm going to make it work. It's as it was some years ago but with a much more friendly atmosphere."

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