Sports Outside the Beltway

Rubens Barrichello wins the European Grand Prix

Maybe Jenson Button won’t run away with the driving title after all. From AP-

Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello won the European Grand Prix on Sunday to claim his first Formula One victory in five years.

The 37-year-old Brazilian took advantage of a costly pit-stop error by Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren team to record a 10th career win — his first since the 2004 Chinese GP — and boost his championship hopes.

Hamilton finished second ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen after having started the Valencia street race from pole position.

Jenson Button finished seventh to have his championship lead cut to 18 points over teammate Barrichello. Red Bull’s Mark Webber finished ninth and is 20.5 points behind Button.

Luca Badoer, who is filling in for injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, finished 17th after starting last.

Hamilton, who also finished second at last year’s race, looked to be cruising to a second straight win after having taken the Hungarian GP. But McLaren’s mechanics fumbled when removing tire warmers during his final pit stop, which lasted 13.4 seconds, and the chance was gone.

Barrichello moved clear in front after his second stop and held on to win by 2.3 seconds.

The racing fortunes of Barricello haven’t been very good since he left Ferrari after the 2005 GP campaign. Barrichello will have to show more consistency before it will acknowledged he is among the top Grand Prix drivers again like he was between 2002-04.

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