Mike Stevens | May 12, 2009

Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello has threatened to quit Formula One if his team influenced the result of the Spanish Grand Prix through team orders.

Barrichello appeared on course to record his tenth career victory in Barcelona, capitalising on a stunning start to overtake team mate Jenson Button and streak away from the field before the first of his three pit stops.

However, the Brazilian’s lead was soon eroded after Button’s engineers switched the championship leader to a two-stop strategy from an initial three, enabling him to leap past the Brazilian in the pits.

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Brawn team mates Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello at Spain this weekend.

Following the race, Barrichello was visibly frustrated to have missed an opportunity to end his five-year win drought, telling SpeedTV he is prepared to walk away from Formula One if he is relegated to number two status at Brawn GP.

“If I get the slightest sniff of the fact that they have favoured Jenson, I will hang up my helmet tomorrow," he said.

"But I know Ross wouldn't do that. He asked me to drive for him and he knows I want to race fairly with Jenson."

Barrichello though is demanding answers for the team’s decision to switch Button’s strategy mid-race, querying the reason to leave him out on the slower stop sequence.

“We were both on three stops and they changed the strategy for him. Good for him, good for the team as we both covered one and two but I would like to understand why we changed that,” he said.

“After this evening we are going to have a meeting again and then we have some answers.”

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During his six-year tenure with Ferrari, Barrichello was the victim of team orders on numerous occasions, most notably at the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, when he was forced to give up victory only metres before the chequered flag.

The lack of opportunities available at the Scuderia prompted Barrichello to move away from Maranello, steeling his resolve to never tolerate team orders again.

“I have had experience of that and if it happens I won't follow any team orders. I'm making this clear now but we have a much more friendly situation in this team,” he said.

"There's no way I'm going to be crying and saying I should have this or that. I had the ability to win and I didn't."

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