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Barrichello wins again five years later

Rubens Barrichello took an emotional tenth grand prix victory and his first in any car other than a Ferrari with a fighting performance for Brawn GP in the European Grand Prix at Valencia

The 37-year-old Brazilian drove aggressively and with consistent pressure to pass a McLaren in each of his two stops and drive home relatively un-pressured to score the team's sixth win of the season.

Having dispensed with Heikki Kovalainen from second place in the first stops, the groundwork for Barrichello's first win in five years came from a superb middle-stint where he matched race leader and eventual second-place finisher Lewis Hamilton for pace.

He delivered a sequence of fastest laps around the time Hamilton pitted on lap 37 - three sooner than the Brawn.

Barrichello needed to get the gap down to two seconds, but in reality a slow pitstop by the McLaren crew, who appeared to dither in preparing the world champion's tyres, gave Rubens the space he needed to move into a lead he would never relinquish.

Hamilton, who along with his team-mate Kovalainen started on the super-soft tyres in a decision that opposed that of the rivals around them on the grid, did his level best to make a getaway at the start, and made no errors.

But as Barrichello waited patiently behind Kovalainen until the first stops, it was clear that the MP4-24 was perhaps not quite a match for the Brawn on pace.

After he'd lost the lead following the second stop, Hamilton still didn't give up and began to close the gap in the closing laps, but Barrichello had him covered.

Kimi Raikkonen took a well-worked third place, having jumped Kovalainen in the second stops, setting a fastest lap of his own as he emphasised his pace up to his stop.

The Ferrari driver pitted later than his countryman in both of his first two stints and consistent driving did the rest.

Kovalainen eventually finished fourth, having lost a position in both of his stops. He never quite had the pace of Hamilton in the early laps and Barrichello had little trouble jumping him at his first stop. The same proved to be the case for Raikkonen in the second.

The Finn found himself defending fourth from Nico Rosberg in the closing laps as black dust began to kick out of the McLaren's front wheels - suggesting significant brake wear towards the end of the race.

Rosberg delivered more points for Williams in fifth with another consistent run. Fernando Alonso did a similar job for Renault in sixth - which at least was a finish in front of his home crowd. This time last year it was an early bath after a collision with Rosberg's team-mate Kazuki Nakajima.

Jenson Button had a difficult race. Similar in style to that of his British Grand Prix, a late-charge saw him take seventh place having found a pace that wasn't there in the early laps.

The world championship leader was caught behind his title rival Sebastian Vettel at the start and the resulting first lap squabble saw him miss a chicane at Turn 5 while running side-be-side with Mark Webber.

Two laps later and he was forced to hand eighth position to the Australian to avoid a penalty. In the early laps, Button then appeared to struggle and it was only when he got into clear air that the Brawn came alive.

He was caught for a while behind a long-stopping Giancarlo Fisichella in the middle stint, but an excellent out-lap from his second stop, combined with a problematic one for Webber saw him overtake the Red Bull.

Robert Kubica passed Webber too, handing the troubled BMW team a poignant point given the events of the last month.

Red Bull, then, failed to score. Webber was ninth, while Vettel watched his title hopes become significantly slimmer with his second DNF in succession and his second engine failure in two days.

Sebastien Buemi was the only other retirement with late-race brake failure.

Adrian Sutil finished in the top ten for Force India, ahead of Nick Heidfeld (11th) and Giancarlo Fisichella (12th).

Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock were next, the German setting the fastest lap of the race - two from the end.

The rookies took the final positions, with Romain Grosjean leading home Jaime Alguersuari and Luca Badoer last. The Ferrari stand-in produced a wayward performance that involved a drive-through and a spin.


The European Grand Prix
Valencia, Spain;
57 laps; 310.080km;
Weather: Sunny.


Pos  Driver        Team                      Time
 1.  Barrichello   Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1h35:51.289
 2.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  +     2.358
 3.  Raikkonen     Ferrari               (B)  +    15.994
 4.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  +    20.032
 5.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota       (B)  +    20.870
 6.  Alonso        Renault               (B)  +    27.744
 7.  Button        Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  +    34.913
 8.  Kubica        BMW Sauber            (B)  +    36.667
 9.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault      (B)  +    44.910
10.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  (B)  +    47.935
11.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber            (B)  +    48.822
12.  Fisichella    Force India-Mercedes  (B)  +  1:03.614
13.  Trulli        Toyota                (B)  +  1:04.527
14.  Glock         Toyota                (B)  +  1:26.519
15.  Grosjean      Renault               (B)  +  1:31.774
16.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  +     1 lap
17.  Badoer        Ferrari               (B)  +     1 lap
18.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota       (B)  +    3 laps

Fastest lap: Glock, 1:38.683

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                      On lap
Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)    42
Vettel        Red Bull-Renault      (B)    24

World Championship standings, round 11:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Button        72        1.  Brawn-Mercedes        126
 2.  Barrichello   54        2.  Red Bull-Renault       98.5
 3.  Webber        51.5      3.  Ferrari                46
 4.  Vettel        47        4.  McLaren-Mercedes       41
 5.  Rosberg       29.5      5.  Toyota                 38.5
 6.  Hamilton      27        6.  Williams-Toyota        29.5
 7.  Raikkonen     24        7.  Renault                16
 8.  Trulli        22.5      8.  BMW Sauber              9
 9.  Massa         22        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari      5
10.  Glock         16       
11.  Alonso        16       
12.  Kovalainen    14       
13.  Heidfeld       6       
14.  Buemi          3       
15.  Kubica         3       
16.  Bourdais       2       
All timing unofficial

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