Barrichello at the 2002 United States Grand Prix
|Formula One World Championship career|
|2008 car #||17|
|Races||271 (267 starts)|
|First race||1993 South African Grand Prix|
|First win||2000 German Grand Prix|
|Last win||2004 Chinese Grand Prix|
|Last race||2008 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|2008 position||14th (11 pts)|
Rubens Gonçalves Barrichello (born May 23, 1972 in São Paulo) is a Brazilian Formula One racing driver. He drove for Honda in the 2008 season, but Honda have now quit Formula One, and the only chance that Barrichello will continue to drive for the same team (under a different name) is that Honda can find a buyer for the team.
As a young, aspiring driver, Barrichello looked up to the late Ayrton Senna, and when he joined Formula One, Senna in return considered him his protégé. As of the 2008 Formula One season Barrichello is the only driver left competing in Formula One to have raced against the likes of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost making Barrichello the last remaining link in F1 to that era. Barrichello has scored the seventh highest points total in Formula One history. Barrichello drove for Ferrari from 2000 to 2005, as Michael Schumacher's teammate, enjoying considerable success. Schumacher's retirement at the end of 2006 made Barrichello the most experienced driver on the grid, and at the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix he became the most experienced driver in F1 history.
Both his father and paternal grandfather are also named Rubens, and Barrichello shares his father's birthday: May 23. Therefore, Rubens Barrichello was known as Rubinho (Portuguese for "little Rubens"), which has become his nickname.
Barrichello won five karting titles in Brazil before going to Europe to race in the Formula Vauxhall Lotus series in 1990. In his first year, he won the championship, a feat he replicated the following year in the British Formula 3 Championship, beating David Coulthard. He very nearly joined Formula One, the highest category of single seater racing, at just 19 years of age. Instead he competed in Formula 3000 in 1992. He finished third in the championship, and joined the Jordan Formula One team for the 1993 Formula One season. During this time, and also early in his Formula 1 career, Rubens lived in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK.
Formula One career
Barrichello had an effective rookie year. In his third race, the European Grand Prix, he started from 12th place in very wet conditions but was fourth by the end of the first lap. He ran as high as second and was running third, having passed the Williams of Damon Hill and Alain Prost, before encountering a fuel problem. His Jordan's reliability in 1993 was poor, and he finished few races. Barrichello regularly outpaced his more experienced teammates, Ivan Capelli and Thierry Boutsen. In the French Grand Prix, he almost scored his first grand prix point (and the team's first that year) but Michael Andretti passed Barrichello for the sixth and final point-paying position on the final lap. His only points finish of the season came at the Japanese Grand Prix with fifth place, ahead of his new teammate Eddie Irvine. These 2 points put him in 18th place in the 1993 standings.
1994 started well with a fourth place in Brazil and a third place at Aida, which earned him his maiden podium position. These results put Barrichello in second place in the drivers' ranking at that moment, behind Michael Schumacher, who had won the two races. However, at the San Marino Grand Prix, Barrichello's career nearly ended when he suffered a violent crash during Friday practice. His car hit the wall in Variante Bassa, turning him upside down. This accident knocked him unconscious and threatened his life, with his tongue blocking his airway. Quick action by officials ensured survival. During the race, his mentor Ayrton Senna crashed his Williams at high speed and died. Despite this deep personal loss, Barrichello recovered his confidence and raced strongly, making good races and taking pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix, and leading some laps at the Portuguese Grand Prix. His pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix set the record for the youngest driver to secure pole position at that time. He finished the 1994 season sixth in the Drivers' Championship with 19 points, ahead of teammate Eddie Irvine, who scored six points.
1995 was highlighted by a second place finish in Montreal, but the Jordan cars were less reliable than in 1994. In three races he lost a total of 7 points on the final lap - a collision at Silverstone, and mechanical failures at Barcelona and the Hungaroring. Barrichello finished the season in 11th with 11 points, one ahead of Irvine.
There were high hopes for 1996, when the Jordan team took over the works Peugeot engine contract from the McLaren team. The Benson & Hedges cigarette brand brought an infusion of sponsorship to the team. Barrichello was amongst the frontrunners at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the second race of the season, before spinning off after his brakes overheated. However as the season progressed, Jordan became less competitive. Barrichello's relationship with team owner Eddie Jordan soured during 1996, and at the end of the year, after been linked to strong teams, he left for the newly formed Stewart Grand Prix.
1997 was a difficult first year for the team, and Barrichello only finished three races. The highlight was a second place finish in Monaco, which put him 13th in the standings. Teammate Jan Magnussen scored no points. The same year, Barrichello married Silvana Giaffone on February 24. She is a cousin of Brazilian Indy Racing League driver Felipe Giaffone and a niece of the Stock Car Brasil champions, Affonso Giaffone Filho and Zeca Giaffone.
1998 was not much better for Stewart. Two fifth places were the best in the season. Despite the poor reliability of the team, Barrichello performed well and consistently beat teammate Magnussen, which resulted in the latter being dropped at the French Grand Prix, replaced by Jos Verstappen, another teammate beaten by Barrichello.
1999 was a much better year for the Stewart team. Barrichello qualified third at the Brazilian Grand Prix, outpacing Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, and led some laps, to delight of the local fans, until his engine blew near 'Subida dos Boxes'. He also took pole position in the wet qualifying session in France and three podium finishes, at the San Marino, French, and European Grands Prix. The latter race was won by teammate Johnny Herbert. Despite this, Barrichello again generally outpaced his teammate. Over the course of the year, he caught the eye of Ferrari boss Jean Todt, and he was signed for the 2000 season.
Barrichello achieved his first grand prix victory at the 2000 German Grand Prix at Hockenheim after starting the race from 18th place on the grid. This was the longest any driver in Formula One history has waited for a maiden grand prix win. Barrichello had a consistent debut season for Ferrari, finishing most races on the podium, but was outpaced by the other three reliable cars: Schumacher, Häkkinen and Coulthard. Barrichello finished the season ranked fourth after supporting Michael Schumacher as he battled and defeated Mika Häkkinen for the 2000 Formula One Championship, and helping Ferrari win the constructors' championship.
Barrichello finished the 2001 season in third place, achieving a total of 10 podium finishes and scoring a total of 56 championship points. He again played a major supporting role for Michael Schumacher, helping him win his second drivers' championship with Ferrari and helping the team win the constructors' championship for its third consecutive year.
Barrichello's success at Ferrari continued in 2002, when he won four races for the team and finished a career best second place in the drivers' championship, scoring 77 championship points. The year was marked by controversy, however, when the Ferrari team orders required Barrichello to allow the trailing Michael Schumacher to pass him at the final straight of the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix to take the victory. Michael Schumacher exchanged podium places with Barrichello at the podium ceremony and gave Barrichello the winner's trophy. The drivers were fined for disrupting podium protocol and Ferrari's blatant team orders led to the FIA banning team orders beginning in 2003.
Barrichello finished the 2003 season in fourth place, scoring 65 points, including wins at the British Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix. He again played a crucial role in helping Michael Schumacher and Ferrari win the drivers' and constructors' championships.
In the 2004 season, Barrichello finished second behind teammate Michael Schumacher in only seven of the first thirteen races, but he won both the Italian Grand Prix and the Chinese Grand Prix to clinch second place in the championship, finishing the year with 114 points and 14 podiums.
Though Barrichello had good cars during his Ferrari era, his best result at his home race was a third place at the 2004 event. He has failed to finish eleven of the fifteen Brazilian Grands Prix in which he has competed.
In the 2005 season, Ferrari lacked the pace of previous years due to changing tyre rules. Ferrari used Bridgestone tyres, which were less effective than those of their competitors Michelin. Barrichello's best results this season were two second places: first at the Melbourne and then at the controversial 2005 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. He finished the season in eighth place in the drivers' standing with 38 points, his worst season with the Maranello team.
2006 onwards: Honda
Barrichello's lucky number is "11," which was the number his kart bore when he won his first race. In the 2006 Formula One season, his new teammate Jenson Button gave Barrichello the number for his car in goodwill. Barrichello was initially outpaced by Button, and claimed that the car did not suit his driving style, particularly in its braking style. After modifications to the car he was able to be more competitive. At the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, he nearly got his first podium with the team, but then he was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane and finished fourth. Though he lost a podium, it was the best result at the Monaco Grand Prix for Honda (as a team) or any Japanese team. For the race Barrichello exchanged helmets with Tony Kanaan, a Brazilian IRL driver and one of his best friends. On the same weekend, Kanaan raced in the 2006 Indianapolis 500 race using Barrichello's helmet. Barrichello qualified third for the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, ahead of Schumacher and Räikkönen. He finished the season seventh in the drivers' standings with 30 points, 26 behind Button.
Barrichello did not score any points during the 2007 season, mostly due to the Honda RA107's lack of pace. Despite retiring only twice, a ninth place in the British Grand Prix was his best result of the season and he only once qualified in the top 10. He finished the standings in 20th place, behind weaker cars such as Takuma Sato's Super Aguri and Adrian Sutil's Spyker.
Honda confirmed on July 19, 2007, that Barrichello would remain with the team as a race driver for the 2008 Formula One season. This gave him the opportunity of making the five race starts he required to break Riccardo Patrese's record for the driver that has started the most Grands Prix, a record that had stood for 14 years.
In the first race of the 2008 season, Barrichello qualified 10th, ahead of Button. He finished 6th but was disqualified for ignoring a red light at the pit exit. He also received a stop-and-go penalty during the race for entering the pits while they were closed during a safety car period. In the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix, gearbox problems limited his performance and he finished 13th. In the 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix he again finished out of the points.
The 2008 Turkish Grand Prix was Barrichello's 257th Grand Prix, breaking Riccardo Patrese's record of 256 Grand Prix starts and becoming the most experienced driver in F1 history. The particular Grand Prix at which he broke this record has been disputed, as he technically did not start some races, such as the 2002 Spanish Grand Prix, but Barrichello and Honda chose the 2008 Turkish Grand Prix to be the location of the official celebrations.
In Monaco, he finally scored his first points since 2006 and in Canada he scored back-to-back points, finishing 7th after starting in 9th position. He led some laps in this race thanks to the appearance of the safety car, but fell back down the order towards the end of the race.
At Magny-Cours, Barrichello did not repeat his performance from the two previous races and qualified in 17th. After a gearbox change, he dropped to 20th. In the race, he finished 14th.
At Silverstone, which he said he considers to be his second home, he qualified 16th, outpacing Button. Despite this and heavy rain on race day, through the use of an extreme wet tyre he finished 3rd, achieving his first podium since 2005. However in Germany, a collision with David Coulthard ended his hopes for points. In Hungary, he was lapped by the leader, repeating the same performance in Valencia. In Belgium he qualified 16th but had to retire due to a gearbox fault. At a wet Italy he was second fastest in Friday practice and started from 16th on the grid. He managed to get up to 9th but due to using the wrong type of tyre in his second pit stop he ended up 17th. At F1's first ever night race in Singapore he was in a good position to score some points after pitting before the pit lane closed for the safety car period but shortly after the engine failed and he had to retire. In the Japanese Grand Prix he again failed to get out of Q1 and started from 17th on the grid, but managed to get up to 13th by the end of the race. In China he managed to get into Q2 for the first time in ten races, and would have started 14th. But after Mark Webber had his ten place penalty for a engine change added he was moved up to 13th. On race day he had a good start, and got up to 10th early on and held a strong mid table position all race and finished 11th, five places ahead of team mate Jenson Button who had struggled all weekend.
On 5 December 2008 Honda shocked everybody by announcing that they were quitting F1, due to the economic crisis; it remains uncertain whether a buyer can be found to buy the team. Currently, Barrichello does not have a seat for a F1 team for the 2009 season.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
- Barrichello is married to Silvana and they have two sons, Eduardo (b. 2001) and Fernando (b. 2005)
- http://www.teleresponde.com.br/rubens.htm Interview: Rubens Barrichello (grandfather)
- "My story, from Rubens Barrichello Official site". http://www.barrichello.com.br/historia.php?l=2. Retrieved on 2 June 2007.
- Henry, Alan (ed.) (1996) Autocourse Haymarket Publishing p.110 ISBN 1-874557-91-8
- "Honda keep Button & Barrichello". news.bbc.co.uk. 2007-07-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/6906943.stm. Retrieved on 20 July 2007.
- BBC Sport 'Barrichello sets date for record'
- "Barrichello chooses Turkey for record". autosport.com. 2008-04-21. http://www.autosport.com/news/grapevine.php/id/66759. Retrieved on 23 April 2008.
- "Barichello is sporting a new helmet design for his home grand prix". ITV-F1.com. http://www.itv-f1.com/photo.aspx?IM_ID=51060&PG_ID=22.
- "Barrichello pays tribute to Hoffmann". Autosport.com. 1 November 2008. http://www.autosport.com/news/grapevine.php/id/71894. Retrieved on 2 November 2008.
- "Global crisis ends Honda F1 dream". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7766092.stm.
- The Official Website for Rubens Barrichello
- Rubens Barrichello career statistics at Driver Database
- Rubens Barrichello statistics view
|British Formula Three Champion
Gil de Ferran
|Formula One Indoor Trophy winner
Andrea de Cesaris
22 years, 308 days
(1982 United States GP West)
|Youngest Grand Prix Pole Position
22 years, 97 days
(1994 Belgian Grand Prix)
21 years, 236 days
(2003 Malaysian GP)
257 entries, 256 starts
(1977 - 1993)
|Most Grand Prix entries
(1993 - ),
258th entry at the 2008 Turkish GP
257th start at the 2008 French GP
|NAME||Barrichello, Rubens Gonçalves|
|SHORT DESCRIPTION||Brazilian Formula One race driver|
|DATE OF BIRTH||May 23, 1972|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||São Paulo, Brazil|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|