Ten seconds into the German GP you would not have put money on a Ferrari victory, but Rubens Barrichello - with a little luck and some help from the pits - performed a miracle. As usual, technical director Ross Brawn was at the heart of the successful strategy. He agreed to let Rubens go for two-stops, which allowed him to quickly make up ground from his lowly grid position. When the safety car came out well before his second stop was due, Ross didn't hesitate to bring the Brazilian in early to get the stop out of the way and leave him with a clear run to the flag. The rain seemed to have put paid to that plan, but with Brawn's support Rubens chose to stay out on dry tyres, a ploy that worked to perfection. Adam Cooper caught up with Ross as celebrations began in the Ferrari garage
"Rubens was very keen on the two-stop. He was so confident of doing it; it was close between the two and one here, but he wanted to go for it again. He really felt on top of it today, Rubens. He had a good car, he felt really strong, so we gave him a little bit of head, and off he went. We don't see overtaking very often and he overtook seven or eight cars. He started 18th and won the race, and while a few were overtaken in the pits, it was a superb drive and he didn't put a foot wrong."
"It was. Obviously Frentzen made the same decision. I think if the race had run normally, we would have still finished third. Then you've got to hope for some unusual circumstances, which is what happened."
"We'd done a pit stop, so it was a question of do we or don't we? I was pleased with that decision, because that was the thing that made the middle of the race. Then it was Rubens who made the call on tyres, which was another fantastic decision."
"I just said, 'It's pouring with rain here Rubens, what's it like?' He said, 'It's dry out here,' came through the stadium once, and said, 'No, I want to stay out.' I said 'Great, go for it, because it could win us the race.'"
"Exactly. We had to commit to it. We had to commit one way or the other - we had to commit to wets or staying on dries. The worst thing would be to stay out there and then come in for wets, which is what David suffered from."
"Yes, I was a bit anxious. I could see Hakkinen was struggling in the dry bits, although less on the other bit of the track on wets. But Rubens didn't seem that bad - of course running on the dry bit kept the temperature of the tyres up, so he could tolerate the stadium."
"A lot I would think!"
"It's not running well for us at the moment in that respect. Obviously I was hoping here that we were going to pull out of the dip, but you can't do much about things like that. So we'll take strength from Rubens' result and come back at Hungary."
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