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Rubens Barrichello

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Biography

Rubens Gonçalves Barrichello (born May 23, 1972) is a Brazilian Formula One race driver of Italian descent. He currently drives for Honda.

He is best known for being Michael Schumacher's teammate at Ferrari from 2000 to 2005, enjoying considerable success. Schumacher's retirement at the end of 2006 makes Barrichello the most experienced driver on the grid. Ironically Barrichello grew up idolizing the late Ayrton Senna while Senna in return considered Barrichello his protege; as of 2007 Barrichello is the only driver left competing in Formula One to have raced against Senna, making Barrichello the only remaining link left to the Senna era of Formula One.

Born in São Paulo, as a son of Rubens Barrichello Juniór. His father and paternal grandfather are also named Rubens. Barrichello shares his father's birthday: May 23. Therefore, Rubens Barrichello is called Rubinho (Portuguese for little Rubens) and it became his nickname.

He achieved his first victory in Hockenheim that year in his 123rd race, the longest wait for a driver's maiden win, despite having started from 18th on the grid. "Rubinho", as he is often known, continued to be successful in the following years thanks to Ferrari's dominance of Formula One: he managed to finish second behind Schumacher in the 2002 championship, as Ferrari ran away from the rest of the field.Barrichello's#2 status at Ferrari was made obvious after he moved over to let Michael Schumacher win at the 2002 Austrian GP.

He managed to achieve only four victories during this time. However, team orders forced the Brazilian to cede to Schumacher one potential victory, the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, where he slowed down at the last turn of the race for Michael to take victory. Such behaviour eventually led to team orders being banned in 2003.

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 took good cars during his Ferrari era, he has been very unlucky at his home race, as he has failed to finish ten of fourteen Brazilian Grands Prix in which he has competed. His best result was a third place in 2004. It is also his best result in his Formula One career as of 2006.

Barrichello and Button remain as race drivers for 2007, with Christian Klien replacing Anthony Davidson as third/reserve driver. So far the Honda RA107 has been uncompetitive compared to Hondas of previous years. Two 10th places at Monaco and in Spain are the best Barrichello could muster. Despite the struggles, he has fared well against Button in 2007, beating the Brit in all races they finished together, until the French Grand Prix when Button scored Honda's first season point. He currently is classified 19th in the championship.

On July 19 2007 it was confirmed that he will drive for another season with the Honda F1 team. Providing he completes this season, he will break Riccardo Patrese's record for the driver that has competed in the most Grand Prix, a record that has currently stood for 14 years.



 


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