By Jayme Monsanto, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The German Grand Prix, which took place last Sunday July 12, in Nürburgring, Germany, heated up even more contention over this year’s F1 Driver’s Championship. For the first time in the season Team Brawn GP had no drivers on the podium.
The Red Bull Racing Team (RBR) claimed the two top spots with Mark Webber in first and Sebastian Vettel in second place. After RBR’s amazing performance in the race, season leader Jenson Button is in danger of losing his lead to Vettel. After this weekend’s results, the gap between the drivers narrowed to 21 points.
It was the first F1 Grand Prix victory ever for Mark Webber. The 32-year old Australian enters F1 History as the driver who, among the select hall of GP winners, participated in the most races before coming out a winner. Webber has been driving in F1 since 2002 and this was his 132th race.
Vettel was satisfied with the result. “We had to fight, but it’s another one-two finish for the team and I’m happy. I’d be lying if I said I’m very pleased with second, as of course I wanted to win, but yesterday Mark did a better job and that’s why today he totally deserves the win – it’s a good fight between us, so I’m looking forward to the next races,” said the young German racer.
Completing the podium was Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. The Brazilian racer was one of the highlights of the Nürburgring Circuit race, as his efforts took him from a weak start in eighth position to a great third place finish, his first podium in the season.
Brawn GP’s Jenson Button, who leads the season with 68 points, ended the race in fifth position. “My race started poorly and didn’t get much better today. It has been a tough and disappointing day for the team. Congratulations to Mark on his first win and I’m really pleased for him as I know how good that feels. I just can’t wait to get to Hungary in two weeks to try and catch up to the Red Bulls.”
Button’s teammate, Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, had a very frustrating race. He was close to claiming Brazil’s hundredth victory in F1 History, but lost the lead due to a mistake by his team during a pit stop.
Barrichello started in second place and climbed to the top position in the first lap, overtaking leader Mark Webber. It seemed like Rubens would claim his first victory in the season, but he only managed to keep the lead until the 32nd lap, when during his second pit stop the Brawn GP crew made a mistake exchanging a fuel hose, costing him precious time, four positions in the race and eventually the victory. He ended in sixth place.
During an interview to BBC, Rubens angrily blamed his team for the frustrating result. “It was a good show from the team on how to lose a race,” he said. “I did all I had to do, I was first to the first corner. They made me lose it. To be very honest with you I wish I could get on the plane and go home right now. I don’t want to talk to anybody in the team because there will be a lot of ‘blah blah blah’ and I don’t want to hear that.”
The other Brazilian disputing the 2009 season, Renault’s Nelsinho Piquet, finished in thirteenth position.