Rubens Barrichello is set to become F1’s most experienced driver in the Turkish Grand Prix. Ben wrote a review of his career here yesterday.
Today I wanted to pick out some of Barrichello’s best moments. What was the Brazilian’s greatest Grand Prix? Here’s a few of my picks, nominate yours below.
1993 European Grand Prix
Q: 12 – R: DNF
The race that woke everyone up to Rubens Barrichello’s potential. He drove a cool race in the wet and was in with a chance of finishing on the podium. But six laps from the end he retired – the Jordan team hadn’t put enough fuel in the car. He evetually made it onto the podium for the first time at his 18th attempt in the 1994 Pacific Grand Prix.
1997 Monaco Grand Prix
Q: 10 – R: 2
After growing tired of the slow progress at Jordan Barrichello gambled on a seat with a brand new F1 team in 1997. When the rain fell on the Monaco Grand Prix he took full advantage to bring the car home in an emotional second.
1999 Brazilian Grand Prix
Q: 3 – R: DNF
In my opinion the great under-rated drive of Barrichello’s career to date. His planned pit stop strategy was compromised by a late change to the pit lane exit at Interlagos, and though he took the lead when Mika Hakkinen’s McLaren faltered he dropped out when his engine failed.
2000 German Grand Prix
Q: 18 – R: 1
What impressed me about this drive was not how quickly he moved up from a lowly 18th on the grid, slicing past car after car. On the long straights of Hockenheim with one of the fastest cars in the field and a light fuel load that was the least that was required of Barrichello that day. And the race fell into his hands when a protester invaded the track, causing a safety car period.
No, what was impressive was his gamble to stay on slick tyres on a partially wet circuit where the cars ran with minimum downforce. The gamble worked beautifully, and Barrichello scored his long-awaited maiden win.
2002 European Grand Prix
Q: 4 – R: 1
Of course the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix should have been on here, because he beat Schumacher in a straight fight, but handed him victory within sight of the line. But at the Nurburgring he got the job done and, more importantly, got to keep the win.
2003 British Grand Prix
Q: 1 – R: 1
Bizarrely, another race interfered with by a protester.But here it didn’t work so well in Barrichello’s favour but he nevertheless ripped through the field in spectacular style and made everyone else look ordinary. It was a top-drawer 11-out-of-10 performance quite unlike anything else we’ve seen from him.
What did you think were Barrichello’s best drives?