Brawn duo pledge open, fair fight for 2009 title (GMM) Both Brawn drivers said they are looking forward to a fair and open fight to the 2009 world championship.
The Red Bull duo is still mathematically in the hunt for the drivers' crown, but the Brawn one-two at Monza means that Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello are more than the favorites to dispute the title alone.
So even though the enemies for the pair lie within the white and yellow-clad garage walls, their boss Ross Brawn is promising that team orders will not play a role so long as fair play is also adhered to between the drivers.
"All I ask from my drivers now is they compete fairly and openly, they have got to work together fairly, but they're old enough to deal with it," he said after the Italian GP.
Sure enough, both Button and Barrichello said nothing will change now despite the fact the next four races will almost certainly see only one of them realize a lifelong dream of becoming world champion.
"I don't know; I've put on a brave face lately but I absolutely hate this guy. He doesn't know his arse from his elbow when it comes to racing cars," Button said whilst sitting next to his long-time teammate Barrichello in the post-race Monza conference.
The Briton, who leads Barrichello by 14 points with four races to go, was joking.
"I think we're still going to be sharing information but when we go on the circuit we're obviously fierce rivals," Button clarified. "Rubens is going to be a very tough rival for sure."
Brazilian Barrichello, at 37 the oldest active race driver in F1, agreed that just because the stakes are so high and the potential rewards so coveted, the back-slapping and smiling is not going to stop.
"There's that old saying that you can only win in formula one if you're tough. We're both nice guys, so this is the end of it," he told reporters in Italy.
"I think the best thing in life is respect. Obviously, when we're finding that the softer spring or the harder spring is the better thing for the car, you go to the other side of the garage and tell them that's what you have found.
"It's an open book there," said Barrichello. "We have our meetings and we both go through the check list at the same time, live, so we both can hear."