|Born||23 May 1972 (age 46)|
São Paulo, Brazil
|Formula One World Championship Career|
|Teams||Jordan, Stewart, Scuderia Ferrari, Brawn GP, Williams F1|
( 322 starts)
|First Race||1993 South African Grand Prix|
|Last Race||2011 Brazilian Grand Prix|
|First Win||2000 German Grand Prix|
|Last Win||2009 Italian Grand Prix|
Rubens Gonçalves "Rubinho" Barrichello (born 23 May 1972 in São Paulo) is a racing driver from Brazil, best known for competing in Formula One between 1993 and 2011. After losing his seat at the Williams F1 team, Barrichello moved to the IndyCar Series in 2012 with KV Racing Technology.
Barrichello has scored the ninth highest points total in Formula One history. Barrichello drove for Ferrari from 2000 to 2005, as Michael Schumacher's teammate, enjoying considerable success including finishing as championship runner-up in 2002 and 2004. 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. He became the first driver to reach 300 Grand Prix entries and 300 starts, doing so in 2010. He was also appointed chairman of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association in 2010, but after losing his seat in Formula One, he was replaced by Pedro de la Rosa.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Pre-Formula One[edit | edit source]
Both his father and paternal grandfather are also named Rubens, and Barrichello shares his father's birthday: 23 May. 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 One career, Barrichello lived in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK.
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.
Formula One[edit | edit source]
Jordan[edit | edit source]
1993 - 1994
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 pressure 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 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. Barrichello credits the on track work of Sid Watkins for saving his life.
Barrichello was relatively fortunate, however. Twenty minutes into Saturday's final qualifying session, Roland Ratzenberger died when he crashed his Simtek at the curva Villeneuve; during the race, his mentor Ayrton Senna crashed his Williams at Tamburello and also died. Despite this deep personal loss, Barrichello recovered his confidence and raced strongly, having good races and taking pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix, and leading some laps at Estoril. His pole position at Spa-Francorchamps set the record for the youngest driver to secure pole position at that time. He concluded the season with fourth place in Adelaide. He finished the season sixth overall in the Drivers' Championship with 19 points, outscoring Irvine, who scored six.
1995 - 1996
1995 was highlighted by a second place finish in Montreal, but the Jordan cars were less reliable than in 1994 mostly because Jordan took over the works Peugeot engine contract from the McLaren team. In three races he lost seven points on the final lap – a collision at Silverstone, and mechanical failures at Barcelona and in Hungary. Barrichello finished the season in 11th with 11 points, one ahead of Irvine.
There were high hopes for 1996. The Benson & Hedges cigarette brand brought an infusion of sponsorship to the team. Barrichello was amongst the frontrunners in Brazil, 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 being linked to strong teams, he left for the newly formed Stewart Grand Prix. His final season at Jordan resulted in 14 points.
Stewart[edit | edit source]
1997 - 1999
1997 was a difficult first year for the team, and Barrichello finished only 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 24 February. She is a cousin of Brazilian Indy Car 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, with two fifth places being the team's best results. 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 his home race in Brazil, outpacing Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, and led some laps, 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.
Ferrari[edit | edit source]
2000 - 2001
In 2000, Barrichello achieved his first grand prix victory at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim demonstrating why he is rated as one of the best wet weather drivers, when he and the team choose to stay on slicks when it was raining on part of the circuit. This risky call saw him leap-frog the McLarens who chose to pit for wet weather tires, thus earning him a well-deserved and emotional victory, having started 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 outscored by the other three reliable drivers: Michael Schumacher, Mika Häkkinen and David Coulthard. Barrichello finished the season ranked fourth after supporting Schumacher as he battled and defeated Häkkinen for the drivers' 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 nearly achieved a win in Monza, in which the Ferrari pit crew performed badly. He finished the season winless, and again he played a major supporting role for Schumacher, helping him win his second drivers' championship with Ferrari and helping the team win the constructors' championship for the third consecutive year.
2002 - 2005
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 Ferrari team orders required Barrichello to allow the trailing Schumacher to pass him on the final straight of the Austrian Grand Prix to take victory. 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 Silverstone and Suzuka, and again played a crucial role in helping Schumacher and Ferrari win the drivers' and constructors' championships. In the 2004 season, Barrichello finished second behind Schumacher in only seven of the first thirteen races, but he won both the Italian and the Chinese Grands 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 in 2004. 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 because of the changing of 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 in Melbourne and then at the controversial United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. He finished the season in eighth place in the drivers' standing with 38 points, his worst season with Ferrari.
Honda[edit | edit source]
2006 - 2007
In August 2005 he announced that he would be leaving Ferrari at the end of the year to join Honda. Barrichello's lucky number is "11," which was the number his kart bore when he won his first race. In 2006, 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 under braking. After modifications to the car he was able to be more competitive. In Monaco, 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 helmet liveries with Tony Kanaan, a Brazilian Indy Car driver and one of his best friends. On the same weekend, Kanaan raced in the 2006 Indianapolis 500 race using Barrichello's helmet livery. Barrichello qualified third for the 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, because of 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. Despite this, Honda confirmed on 19 July 2007, that Barrichello would remain with the team as a race driver for the 2008 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 Malaysia, gearbox problems limited his performance and he finished 13th. In Bahrain he again finished out of the points.
The Turkish Grand Prix was Barrichello's 257th Grand Prix, breaking 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 Turkey to be the location of the official celebrations.
he scored consecutive points, finishing 7th after starting in 9th position. He led some laps because of 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. With heavy rain on race day, through good 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 because of a gearbox fault. At a wet Monza, he was second fastest in Friday practice and started from 16th on the grid. He managed to get up to 9th but as a result of using the wrong type of tyre in his second pit stop he ended up 17th. At the 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 afterwards the engine failed and he had to retire. In Japan he 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 Button, who had struggled all weekend.
On 5 December 2008 Honda announced that they were quitting F1, because of the economic crisis. This led to months of uncertainty as to whether a buyer could be found, and whether they would retain Barrichello.
Brawn GP[edit | edit source]
Just days before the season opener in Melbourne, veteran designer Ross Brawn bought Honda and renamed it Brawn GP. Barrichello was rather worried when rumours were going around saying that he would lose his seat to the young Bruno Senna, the nephew of Barrichello's friend, idol and mentor Ayrton Senna, but Brawn decided to choose Barrichello to partner Jenson Button in 2009. At Barcelona during the last pre-season test, both Barrichello and Button surprised the paddock with very quick lap times, which were more than two seconds faster than anyone had been on day four.
In Melbourne, Barrichello topped the timesheets in the first two elements of qualifying, but qualified second on the grid behind team-mate Button. Despite a poor start caused by his engine slipping into anti-stall, he did well to recover and lost only a couple of positions at the start. However, he sustained damage to the front wing and rear diffuser in the first corner incident when he was bumped from behind by Heikki Kovalainen in his McLaren that saw him hit Mark Webber in the Red Bull damaging Webber's car as well as his hopes of a good finish. Despite this, Barrichello ultimately finished the race in second place after Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica collided with just 2 laps remaining. He started eighth in Malaysia after getting a grid penalty for a gearbox change and finished the race in fifth place after the race was abandoned at Sepang due to heavy rain.
At Shanghai, he outpaced Button in qualifying, but struggled with his car's brakes when one of them stopped working in the first stint and finished in fourth, recording the race's fastest lap. In Bahrain, his front wing adjustor failed during his qualifying run thereby compromising his aggressive 3 pit-stop race strategy, and thus managed only fifth place. He qualified third on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix, but overtook Button and second place man Vettel on the first straight, to lead the race in the first corner. He was unable to capitalise on his three stop strategy as a result of a lack of pace caused by massive amounts of understeer on his third set of tyres in his third stint, finishing behind Button, who changed to a 2 stop strategy during the race.
At Monaco, Barrichello was pipped for pole by a late-charging Button and Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen. A good start saw him leapfrog the Finn into Sainte Devote. Barrichello's supersoft tyres did not last as well as Button's in the first stint and he pitted earlier than planned, and Button took a commanding lead. The top three remained unchanged for the duration of the race, save some reshuffling during the pit stop windows. At the completion of lap 47, Barrichello became the driver who has completed most laps in Formula One history, surpassing Michael Schumacher's total of 13,909 laps. In Turkey, he again had gearbox problems and retired for the first time in the season, leaving Button to increase his points advantage, while in Britain, Barrichello qualified second behind Vettel, before beating Button for the first time in 2009 en route to third place.
In Germany, Barrichello took the lead at the first corner but after his first stop, he came out behind Felipe Massa who held him up. A fuel rig problem during his second stop meant that he finished the race in sixth, a place behind team mate Jenson Button. After the race he publicly blamed Brawn GP saying "It was a good show from the team in how to lose a race" and "They made me lose the race". Team principal Ross Brawn said of the incident "He had the 11th fastest time of the race. You can't win a race with that speed". However he refused to criticize Barrichello for his outburst. Barrichello has since admitted he overreacted, and he would not have won as the Red Bull cars were half a second a lap quicker than him.
In Hungary, the Brawn cars struggled and lacked pace because of problems with the tyres and aerodynamics. Barrichello finished 10th, his first finish outside the points in 2009, and three places behind Button. In Valencia, Barrichello took his 10th Grand Prix win, his first in five years and the 100th win by a Brazilian driver in Formula One, allowing him to move up to 2nd in the Championship. He paid tribute to injured compatriot Felipe Massa with a plaque on the top of his race helmet.
At Spa, he qualified 4th, but suffered from anti-stall for the third time in 2009 and he found himself last, but missed the first lap crash which took out four drivers including team-mate Button. While the safety car was out he pitted and changed strategy which enabled him to climb back up to 7th. During the last three laps the car had an engine oil leak, but he still managed to finish, before his car caught fire in the pit lane after the race. At Monza, he qualified 5th, despite carrying more fuel to try a different strategy with only one stop. After passing Kovalainen at the start, Barrichello managed not to lose too much time, as he had the advantage of just one stop against Hamilton, Räikkönen and Sutil's two stop strategy. By Hamilton's second pit stop, Button and Barrichello were running first and second. Hamilton tried to pressure Button by forcing his car, but on the last lap he crashed, giving third place to Räikkönen, and fourth to Sutil. Barrichello won the 11th race in his Formula One career, and gained more points on Button in their fight for the world title.
In Singapore, he had to change his gearbox and take a five place grid penalty. During qualifying he crashed his car while in fifth place. As a result of Nick Heidfeld starting from the pitlane, Barrichello would start 9th and finished sixth, while Button finished fifth. In Japan, he originally qualified 5th, but was given a five place grid penalty for failing to slow down during a yellow flag situation near the end of Q2 when Sébastien Buemi crashed. He was on course to finish fifth with Button behind, which would have been enough for Brawn GP to clinch the constructors' championship, but a safety car period in the closing stages of the race for Jaime Alguersuari's crash meant that Nico Rosberg and Heidfeld were able to stay out ahead and save fuel, dropping Barrichello to seventh. With Button finishing eighth, Barrichello closed the points deficit to fourteen and putting Brawn almost out of reach for the constructors' title.
In Brazil, Barrichello claimed pole in a rain-soaked, qualifying session with title rivals Button and Vettel down the order in 14th and 16th respectively. A puncture cost Barrichello a chance of taking the title to the final race, as he failed to secure enough of an advantage over Button to do so. Button finished fifth to become champion. In Abu Dhabi he qualified and finished 4th. With Vettel winning the race, he secured second in the standings, with Barrichello finishing third in the championship with 77 points.
Williams[edit | edit source]
2010 Main Article: Rubens Barrichello/2010 Season
For the 2010 season Barrichello moved to the Williams team. He was characteristically consistent, despite a tough start to the year for the Williams team. As the car improved, so too do did the Brazilian's results, with fourth in Valencia arguably more than anyone could expect from the FW32 . He became first man to start 300 Grands Prix and re-signed with team for 2011 .
In Australia he retired with a transmission problem. He retired again in Malaysia with leaking hydraulics. He finished outside the points in the next three races before a pair of ninth places in Monaco and Canada. He came twelfth in Valencia, and thirteenth in Britain, but retired in Germany because of an oil leak. After that, he finished every race outside the points, but made no further retirements. His final race at the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix was a quiet farewell where he finished 14th, ahead of former teammate Michael Schumacher.
Helmet design[edit | edit source]
Barrichello's helmet is white with an orange-red Oval shape on the rear, an orange-red shape around the visor, an orange red line under the helmet and a blue circle on the top with azure and sky blue cylinders – similar to those on the helmet of former world champion Emerson Fittipaldi – with a golden star in the middle. The white part of the helmet changed to silver for some races during the 1999 season. After signing for Ferrari in 2000, team mate Michael Schumacher changed the colours of his helmet at the Monaco Grand Prix to avoid confusion, since the two drivers' original helmet colours were identical. At the 2001 Brazilian Grand Prix, the oval shape and the shape around the visor were painted to resemble the Brazilian flag, and at his 300th Grand Prix, his helmet once again carried the Brazilian flag colours. At the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix he had the helmet livery of fellow Brazilian and Barrichello's good friend Tony Kanaan, who in turn had Barrichello's helmet livery while racing in 2006 Indianapolis 500which was held on the same day because they said it would be the closest either of them would get to competing in the biggest race of the year of the category the other raced in. At the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix, Barrichello drove with a helmet in tribute to Ingo Hoffmann, former F1 driver and multichampion of the Stock Car Brasil who was retiring that year. At the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix, he wore a helmet painted to include elements of his own helmet design, and the classic design of Ayrton Senna's helmet.
Complete Formula One results[edit | edit source]
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
‡ Half points awarded as less than 75% of race distance was completed.