x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Brawn and Barrichello looking for more glory

Brawn GP will be looking to capitalise on Rubens Barrichello's winning performance in Valencia last weekend as the team prepare for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps.

Rubens Barrichello enjoys the applause after winning the European Grand Prix in Valencia.
Rubens Barrichello enjoys the applause after winning the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

Brawn GP will be looking to capitalise on Rubens Barrichello's winning performance in Valencia last weekend as the team prepare for this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps. The 37-year-old Brazilian claimed his first win in five years at the European Grand Prix to move into second place in the drivers' race, 19 points behind his teammate, Jenson Button, and a point and a half ahead of Red Bull's third-placed Mark Webber.

"We've picked up some momentum again now after the result in Valencia and know that we have to make the most of the next few races," said Barrichello. Despite a dismal performance at the European Grand Prix, Red Bull are expected to be favourites in Belgium, with their improved tyres expected to cope well with the cool temperatures and long Spa track. "Although we believe that we now have a better understanding of our recent tyre issues, the lower track temperatures at Spa will be the proving ground," said Brawn GP team principle Ross Brawn.

With 25 points to make up on Button, Red Bull's Sabastian Vettel retired with his sixth engine failure of the season last weekend, and now has only two engines left to finish the season. Kimi Raikkonen will be aiming for a third top-three finish in a row for Ferrari, looking to cement a third place constructors' series finish for the Italian team. Raikkonen was on course to win last year at Spa before being passed by Lewis Hamilton, with the race eventually going to Felipe Massa.

"This is our goal as a team, although it will be very difficult to reach, considering we stopped developing this car, concentrating on the one for the up coming season," said Raikkonen. "Last year everything went up in smoke due to the rain at the end of the race and I ran into a wall." With Massa recovering from a serious head injury, 38-year-old Luca Badoer will hope to keep his seat with Ferrari by improving on his 17th place outing in Valencia, while McLaren's Hamilton will be looking to go one better than his second place podium position last weekend.

"We're definitely strong again, but we're not the fastest," Hamilton said of his McLaren. "We are there or thereabouts, but we still lack two or three tenths [of a second] to the Brawns." sports@thenational.ae Abu Dhabi GP may be held at night, a6