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Rubens Barrichello – who currently holds the record for the most Grands Prix any driver has participated in, an amazing 322 – joined Ferrari in 2000. He had previously had promising stints at Jordan and Stewart, where he frequently performed above and beyond the expectations of the machinery. He would fast become a much respected and valued member of the team.
Rubens Barrichello – A Team Player
Barrichello settled into the team and quickly produced the results expected of him – his first race with Ferrari yielded a 2nd position – and his first win for Ferrari came in Germany, 2000. He would go on to win eight further races for the team. However, his tenure was not without controversy.
At the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, Barrichello was clearly the fastest Ferrari driver, yet did his team duty and moved over to let Schumacher pass and win. It was a decision he later admitted regretting, and solidified his role in the team as a ‘number 2’ driver. The fans protested and, during the podium ceremony, Michael passed the winners trophy to Rubens, an action that saw them fined for ‘disrupting procedure’.
Rubens Barrichello opted to take a chance with Honda from 2006, but with little success. He remained on the team when it became Brawn for a remarkable year in 2009 in which his team-mate Jenson Button won the title. Barrichello himself took two victories, and 3rd in the championship. A couple of years in an uncompetitive Williams followed, after which he opted to retire from Formula 1.
Barrichello, who has homes in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and in Portugal, has been married to wife Silvana for a number of years and the couple have two sons. He remains a popular figure in the racing world, and among the Ferrari fans who respected his dedication to the team.