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Formula 1 News - May, 2009
Spain GP stirs new 'team orders' controversy

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May 10 (GMM) As the sun faded behind the Barcelona grandstands, it was clear the old 'team orders' controversy had returned to the F1 paddock.

Rubens Barrichello, for so long Michael Schumacher's lackey at Ferrari, was again at the centre of the storm, refusing to rule out that his former Ferrari strategist Ross Brawn had deployed a strategy to favour his teammate.

In 2009, Barrichello's championship-leading teammate is Jenson Button, who like the Brazilian started the Spanish grand prix on a three-stop strategy.

At the end of the race, the 36-year-old made no secret of his unhappiness that Button had been moved to a two-stopper, with which the Briton won the race despite Barrichello passing him at the first corner.

Asked by the BBC if he thought Brawn deliberately favoured Button, Barrichello replied: "I hope not. I've been in a team that very much favoured someone else before.

"Ross has been in that position (at Ferrari) too but he likes me very much I think."

For the record, both Brawn and team CEO Nick Fry denied that Barrichello had been deliberately stranded on the slower strategy, instead explaining that Button's two-stopper was to avoid him emerging from the pits in traffic.

Button agreed, closing down the reporters' line of questioning "because it's so far from the situation within our team".

However, Barrichello confirmed he would be asking questions in the race debrief, but played down the comparison between the situation in 2009 and his time at Ferrari.

"It's much more different than it used to be at Ferrari. We have a much more friendly situation (at Brawn), so I'm not blaming this or that," he said.

After a strong weekend in Spain, he also vowed to keep on pushing, having put a winter of speculation behind him to be driving a potentially title-winning car.

"It was not long ago that people were putting flowers on my grave and saying 'thank you very much for your job'," said Barrichello. "So I'm here, very much alive and happy and I'm going to make it work."

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