F1 giants exchange angry words

Formula 1 heavyweights McLaren and Ferrari are locked in a war-of-words battle following Sunday's Australian Grand Prix

F1 giants exchange angry words

Ferrari dominated the Melbourne race to take a 1-2, with Michael Schumacher finishing ahead of Rubens Barrichello.

Barrichello overtook Schumacher on lap 45, before having to pit for an unexpected second "splash and dash" fuel stop - relegating him to second.

Both McLarens - piloted by David Coulthard and David Coulthard - retired with engine problems.

McLaren managing director Ron Dennis claims Barrichello's race was ruined by Ferrari team orders, which were also aimed at blocking the two McLarens.

Speaking to The Guardian, Dennis said: "If Ferrari did not think we were as strong as them, why did they destroy Barrichello's race?

"There is no set of mathematics that make a two-stop any sort of correct strategy. Therefore they sacrificed his race for some reason.

"Rubens became a sacrificial lamb the minute he was told to make two stops. If they are trying to convince Rubens it was a super strategy, they are misleading him."

Ferrari denied the allegations, claiming that Barrichello's unusual strategy was used to get the better of Heinz-Harald Frentzen's Jordan.

Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn said: "It's a bit strange making those sort of statements.

"Ron is talking a load of nonsense. I can only assume he is very upset about the performance of his own cars and has become a bit irrational.

"He obviously doesn't understand our strategy. Our record shows we have a better grasp of what goes on in races than he does. Barrichello was racing against Frentzen, not the McLarens."

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