Sochi drama reminded Ross Brawn of 2000 German GP

The late drama that unfolded in Sochi reminded Ross Brawn when Rubens Barrichello won the 2000 German Grand Prix.

The Russian Grand Prix appeared to be the first F1 race won by Lando Norris, with the Mclaren man leading for the majority.

This changed when the rain started to fall, as he stayed outside rather than stopping for intermediate tires and eventually pulled away, losing his lead to Hamilton before finally entering and descending to 7th place.

The situation – the victory hinging on strategic decisions made by the driver and the team – reminded Brawn of when Rubens Barrichello defied Team Ferrari’s orders to stay in Germany in 2000 and then took the victory.

“Lando is going to be in pain right now. We all felt his pain when he slipped off the track. It was a tragedy, ”Brawn said in his column for the F1 website.

“I’ve been in this situation – when you have to make a big strategic call. I won races by hanging on, I lost races by hanging on.

“A good example is when Rubens Barrichello won the German Grand Prix in 2000 for Ferrari. We insisted he come and he said ‘no way’ – and he hung on and won the race.

“These scenarios are so difficult and in Sochi it was particularly difficult because only half of the track was wet. Even with radar, no one knows exactly how wet it will be.

“And if you’re leading a race, you don’t want to give it up. When you’re in front, the guy in second has a much easier decision to make because he has nothing to lose. Either he stays on the outside and does what the guy in front is doing, or he takes a punt and he’s unlikely to be any worse than he was at the start.

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Norris was ultimately the one who decided to stay away, with the team suggesting he be in the pit but allowing him to make the final decision on his own.

Brawn sympathizes with both the team and the driver and understands why they did what they did.

“So many things would have weighed on his mind, including the fact that he managed to do better than anyone in qualifying. I see why he insisted with his team,” he added.

“You might ask – should his McLaren team have taken the lead and insisted that he stop when he said he didn’t want to? A driver is in a bubble. He doesn’t see what’s going on. In this case, I would say it’s 60/40 in favor of the team that makes the decision but it’s so difficult because you don’t want to give up the lead.

“That sinking feeling that a driver or a team gets when they realize they’ve made a bad decision and the lead is evaporating before their eyes, is horrible. They have my sympathies, but that sort of thing. of drama is what makes F1 so fantastic.


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