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Barrichello offers wisdom of the man who moved over
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Barrichello offers wisdom of the man who moved over
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Sep 2010   |  7:38 pm GMT  |  83 comments

It’s easy to forget that Rubens Barrichello is a three times winner of the Italian Grand Prix, including last season at the wheel of the Brawn car.

This year he is unlikely to be among the contenders, but the Williams team is optimistic of getting at least one car into Q3 tomorrow.

Barrichello won last year in Monza (Darren Heath)


In light of what has been going on this week with the Ferrari team orders situation, Barrichello’s point of view as the man who moved over for Michael Schumacher on one or two occasions is enlightening.

I spoke to him in Spa and caught sight of an interview he did in Gazzetta dello Sport this weekend, which offers some thoughts on his experiences. So here are the best of the quotes.

On the subject of team orders he said, “It disturbed me to relive something which I had in my skin years before. I never thought it would be repeated.” He recalls that infamous race in Austria 2002, after which the team orders ban came in as “Eight las of hell, in which I was subjected to intense pressure. In the end I did what I did thinking that I would get some benefits, but I never got them.”

“I spent six seasons (at Ferrari) to earn respect. In the end I had to leave the team a year earlier than planned because Michael was everything; he had the spare car, first call on strategy. I would never have left, but I just wasn’t getting the right treatment.”

His words sound prophetic. He is close to Felipe Massa and one wonders whether these thoughts are passing through his mind at the moment. Sometimes you have to leave.

Alonso is “one of the best, if not the best driver around at the moment,” according to Rubens.

His final thoughts are on Williams, a team which has gone 100 races without a win, but is not in decline, according to its veteran driver.
“What’s missing? Details. There are competent people there, a beautiful wind tunnel, all that needs changing is the base concepts of how to develop the car. For five years now they have had poor drivability.”

You get the sense that Rubens knows how to fix that. The 2011 Williams will be worth keeping an eye on. The team is listening. And at this time of his career, that’s what he wants more than anything else.

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83 Comments
  1. Paul Mc says:

    Are you telling me Rubens didnt realise what he was signing up for after all Eddie Irvine had gone through? Nonsense.. I dont believe he is that stupid.

    1. Érico says:

      Irvine was too slow and incompetent to ever make any demands or exepect equal treatment. Barrichello was always faster but also much more naive and a half-full glass type of guy. He thought that, after 2 or 3 titles, Ferrari would be satisfied and would just let Schumi and Rubens have at it equally. If Austria 2002 wasn’t enough, he should have woke up right after Hungary 2003 when he was basically blamed for a suspension failure. I still don’t get what took him so long.

      Seing today how Barrichello and Williams and a perfect match, you can only wonder what would ever had happened if he had joined them back when BMW was around.

      1. Alias J says:

        I don’t agree.

        Irvine AND Barrichello were teammates before both of them joined Ferrari one after the other. Anybody checked their inter-personal performances?

        Pretty much the same both of the were.

      2. Marybeth says:

        I have read that Rubens is the one who set-up the cars that MS won the championships with. When Rubens left Ferrari, MS could no longer win championships. Fortunately for Ferrari, Kimi won the WDC in 2007, with his own set-ups. That was before they made him their 2nd driver in 2008 & 2009. Seems that Alonso has a hard time setting up his car.

      3. theRoswellite says:

        Every once in a while it bears repeating that anyone who ever drove a GP car in anger deserves all the respect we bloggers can muster, and any driver with 4 wins and a 2nd place finish in the championship, Irvine, is more or less above criticism from we mere mortals…….and Barrichello…..the man with the most GP starts IN HISTORY….I wouldn’t be criticizing his career moves, as it seems like a fairly goofy position to take. Of course if you’re a “the glass is half-empty kind of guy……?

      4. Tim says:

        Thank you – sanity!

  2. smellyden says:

    One would hope the marriage of Rubeino and Williams would be perfect. Williams seems to have stagnated, what I mean by that is, before when they were being more successful they were being the innovators. I remember stories of teams breaking into the Williams garage and taking dimensions of the car. Now though they seem to be more reactive. Though that have made some big steps this season and are regularly seem to be getting into Q3 now. Next year especially with the reintroduction of KERS, Williams have the flywheel design, which will be interesting to see next year.

    1. Shane says:

      You mean when Williams had Adrian Newey working them? I do like the idea of the flywheel for storing kinetic energy too, seems rather interesting. I believe they have licensed the technology to Porsche as well.

      1. smellyden says:

        To be fair, they did win constructors and drivers championship, post 95 the year Adrian left, so not strictly true.

    2. Stan says:

      Sadly Williams has already announced that they will not be using the flywheel as it apparently takes up too much space within the car. Which is really sad because it could have given them an edge.

    3. David Hewitt says:

      If I remember correctly, the flywheel system won’t fit into the cars now that refueling is banned – that was a while ago though, maybe there’s been developments on the system? I hope so, would love to see Williams “come good” next season.

    4. Alias J says:

      Williams had a quick driver (Nico Rosberg), but yes I agree what they really needed was someone like Barrichello.

      Barrichello joined Ferrari, they got faster, he joined Honda, it got faster (as they became Brawn), and now Williams are getting faster.

      1. smellyden says:

        I think what you are saying is too simple. To say just Rubens arrived and the teams got faster? I am sure the personnel that get left behind at the factory would have to say something about that too!

      2. gil dogon says:

        Maybe simple, but very interesting. Also there is the post above the mentions MS using Rubens set ups at Ferrari. There certainly seems to be a trend here and maybe later Rubens would be admired more for his ability to communicate with the engineers and set up cars than for his driving prowess (Which is immense by the way – just look again at the photo of his overtake on schumi ….)

  3. Dave says:

    What a great thought Williams and Rubens winning a GP. Just what the sport needs.

    1. Adam Tate says:

      A win for Rubens driving a Williams would be an incredible moment for the sport, I don’t think it can happen this year, but next season it may become a possibility. Williams and Renault are on the up, Mercedes is on the way down and this weekend it seems the top 3 are evenly matched to the core. With Force India performing well of late, this could be a cracking good weekend.

      James, I love the insight this article brings, it only increases my respect and admiration for Rubens. It’s sad to see Ferrari trying to create another Schumacher, and in doing so disrespecting another highly talented and vastly underrated Brazilian.

  4. Ajit says:

    I think Rubens is like a jealous wife. With due respect to him, he was never a top driver. He was always a good driver but not the driver that is going to win the championship. He is bad mouthing so much about the treatment at Ferrari..Do you think he was quicker than Schu every race and every lap? The spare car is for the driver who leads the championship and I cant remember when Rubens led Schu in the championship table. And why did it take him 6 seasons to realize that he was being treated badly? Do you think Mclaren would have not called him to drive for them if they thought he was a driver worth betting on the championship? I mean he could not beat Jenson in a car which was a lot better than any other car on the grid for majority of the season. I think to be realistic the best chance he had was last year and if he could not beat Jenson then I dont think he is ever going to be world champion. He can drive for another 10 years and have the distinction of being the driver with the most of no of starts with not a single championship. I used to like Rubens but now he just whines a lot. I wish him the best.

  5. JimmiC says:

    Success in F1 is cyclical and no teams dominance is forever. The Mclaren of the 80′s was followed by the Williams of the 90′s and then the Ferrari of the 00′s. I’m sure we’ll see Williams back up there soon and I’ll be glad to see it.

  6. Banjo says:

    This article really makes me feel pity for Massa. On a more positive note I think everybody would love to see Williams on the top step if te podium again. So goodluck to the Rubens Williams partnership next year.

  7. Ted the Mechanic says:

    Who would have thought before Rubens got the Brawn gig that he would still be around in 2011 with a good shot at 2012?
    All the best Rubens.
    Go you good thing, go!

  8. vannman says:

    Excellent article, I really do hope that rubens and williams start challenging for decent points.

    1. Adam Tate says:

      I agree on all accounts Vanman, wouldn’t it be a sight to see Rubens beat Schumacher in the championship standings this year?!

  9. j says:

    Except that as long as they keep limiting the max power and max duration of KERS there is no way of gaining an advantage there.

    You can develop the best KERS system in the world but it won’t gain you any time. The best you can hope for is to make your system lighter than other teams to increase the amount of movable ballast in your car.

  10. Rafael Lopez says:

    I think a key difference between Rubens and Felipe is that Felipe has been part of Ferrari for way longer – didn’t he initially join “the family” in 2001 or something? It’s almost been 10 years…

    That makes it harder to leave (in my opinion) but it also makes what Ferrari did even more insulting.

    Just some food for thought, I guess.

  11. Simon B says:

    James
    O/T The twitter feeds are 10 days old-is there a problem?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, with the interface with Twitter. Very frustrating. Working on it. Sorry

  12. John says:

    In the light of the news regarding Hockenheim (specifically that Alonso was allowed to use more revs by the team), are there any new rumours regarding Massa looking for a new team for 2012, or even 2011? Would Massa have been aware of the revs situation relative to Alonso prior to the FIA decision being released?

    1. SKWD says:

      If Massa didn’t know about the revs issue before the FIA hearing then I expect there will be some, err, interesting interviews with him this weekend…

    2. Damian Johnson says:

      Being told an untruth no less than four times, “Alonso is faster than you”, I would n’t be surprised if he does start to look elsewhere. Might also explain why he said after the race that he would not do the same again (not let Alonso pass).

  13. Ed (Dutch) says:

    @ smellyden: Williams is not going to use the mechanical flywheel design for KERS next year, they’ve decided to use a ‘regular’ one.

    The past few years Williams has started not to bad, but it seemed they couldn’t catch up with developing

    1. smellyden says:

      On the contrary I think this year they have shown they can develop. They were not getting to Q3 at the start of the year, we now see nico and rubeino both there of there abouts now!

  14. jonrob says:

    “In the end I did what I did thinking that I would get some benefits, but I never got them.
    And there sadly lies the path of most number2 drivers of the future.
    Basically you can “help the team” or we shall be inspecting your contract to see if you are satisfying all the conditions therein.
    Expect a high turnover of “support drivers” if the FIA abolish team orders, but surely they won’t be so insensitive to public opinion which is against what most of us see as race fixing. I’m a little surprised that the bookmakers association hasn’t spoken up.

  15. k miles says:

    “thinking that I would get some benefits, but I never got them.” has rubens fortotten how schuey mysteriously spun off at the nurburgring 2004, which allowe him an easy win? how about schueys slow outlap at the final pitstop in monza 2002? how about schuey handing rubens the win in USA? how about starring at the back of rubens car for the whole of the hungarian gp 2002 and setting a BLISTERING laptime 3 laps from the end, proving he gave rubens the win? and not forgetting how he helped create a car year after year for rubens to have the priviledge of driving at the top level?! just SOME of the “benefits” you forgot rubens!

    1. Ted the Mechanic says:

      If you had a choice of cars between 2000 and 2004 wouldn’t you rather be sitting in the Ferrari?

  16. Jason C says:

    I’d have loved to have seen from Massa what I’d have loved to have seen from Barrichello: them ignoring their team orders. But that’s easy to say from here without my life’s work at stake.

  17. BreadPuddingSux says:

    Barrichello knew full well when he went to Ferrari that he would always be #2. People forget that Michael endured four seasons at the prancing horse building that team from the ground up along with Brawn, Todt, Byrne etc. Michael earned and fully deserved the preferential treatment he received. Most importantly, he delivered. Does anyone really think that Rubens could deliver on the scale and with the consistency of Schumacher? Not in a million years. Rubens will talk to anyone with a microphone about how he was short changed at Ferrari. He is truly a sad, sad man.

    1. smellyden says:

      Not so sure, he come out recetnly and stated nothing was in his contract, being a number 2. I thought his hope was that they would give Michael a few titles and if he waits he will be given his chance. Unfortunately for him, this never came.

  18. Andy C says:

    A really useful insight from Rubens. The fact that he still feels the pain of it even now, and talks of the pressure he felt at the time is confirmation that it is very easy for us to summarise or conclude what type of person someone is, but put in the same situation …….

    I really hope Williams can take a big step towards the front next year.

  19. James says:

    I wonder how it would have played out if Massa had taken Webber’s stance and took the win? With the wave of support over Webber’s actions, I can’t imagine Ferrari getting great press if they had punished Massa by either sacking him or making him a clear number 2, which they have done now anyway. If you know what you’re getting into when you sign the contract, then fine, but when Ferrari gave Massa false hope that the goalposts were fixed (the vital 3 second gap to Alonso), then allowed Alonso to turn his engine up to catch and pass him was just not classy. To treat him like that, on the anniversary of an incident that almost killed him, was just very poor and ruthless. Goes to show how badly Alonso wanted those points too. I guess some drivers need to win at any cost in any way. I used to admire Alonso, but since being connected with scandal at McLaren, Renault, and now this at Ferrari, he truly is the new Schumacher and I’m surprised that he doesn’t care more about his integrity or reputation. Who would want to win like that? How do you celebrate it?

    1. theRoswellite says:

      Unfortunately you celebrate it to the sound of more than just a few adoring, if perhaps uncritical, applauding countrymen, while you’re driving all that money to the bank.

  20. Alias J says:

    Oh grumpy old whiner. You would have been treated as an equal only if were simply as quick as Schumacher.

    Its natural that the team watches you for a few races, a couple of seasons to see who’s faster, and they simply automatically choose their number one. No amount of contract or paperwork would change all that.

  21. Ben G says:

    Rubens is a legend. Hope he goes well tomorrow.

  22. Mark V says:

    If Massa leaves, who will replace him? Heidfeld? Sutil? Raikkonen? (That would probably never happen but if it did, wouldn’t it be great fun? The frustrated guy with a huge bank and 46 million countrymen behind him vs the quiet Ice(cream)man who could regularly kick his butt but couldn’t care less.)

    1. Mark V says:

      Oh by the way, speaking of Raikkonen, didn’t he let Massa by in China to help Felipe’s championship bid in 2008? What goes around comes around I suppose.

      1. Trey says:

        Did’nt Massa give the win to Raikkonen in Brazil 2007???

      2. Mark V says:

        I guess he did. So it’s his turn to be on the receiving end of a gift.

  23. paddy says:

    Maybe Jack Villernerve will buy Williams they need some fresh cash and Rubins beats Micheal in next years world championship. I would be pretty happy if that ever happened. Its been too long between drinks for Williams lets hope there luck changes soon.

  24. Curro says:

    Funny, isn’t it? Williams, the team that only accepted drivers tough as iron, ready to go to extremes on their own in order to win their team’s respect first, races and championships afterwards. Barrichello, the charged-up latin who could never recover from emotional blows such as the indifference of people aroun him. Yet they’re still the perfect couple this year.

  25. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

    James, given that your forum is moderated, is there really a place for this sort of trolling comment? Why was it not refused? In what way does it add to the debate?

    And before anyone mentions it, despite my nickname this is nothing to do with the subject of these comments (I support certain other drivers too – who I also believe are true racers – at least as much).

    Regards.

    1. Kieran says:

      Yes, I second this. Can the above comment be removed?

      Intelligent comments or nothing please, that’s what makes this forum great.

    2. peter says:

      I fully agree with you “Keyfob” re. stupid posts, also the offensive ones that sometimes slip through.I don’t know what those bloggers are going to do now that Big Brother has finished.

      By the way (BTW), did anyone see FP3 at Monza,with Alonso holding his hand out of the cockpit when he was about 100m behind Kobayashi out of the Parabolica as if to say “This idiot has ruined my lap”. There was no obstruction even aerodynamically. Drama Queen.

  26. JD says:

    It’s ironic that Rubens’s own boss wrote a letter to the FIA in support of Ferrari and wants team orders allowed in full.

      1. Ajit says:

        Would Rubens have a problem if he was the assigned no 1 driver?

  27. Darren Rea says:

    Rubens is now showing his quality. Helping to bring Williams back to the forefront of F1 racing is his true calling. Keep going. Both deserve each other.

  28. Rafael says:

    When Rubens was a guest in Top Gear a couple of months ago, he was insisting that when he signed his Ferrari contract (and its extensions) there was no specific clause saying he was the team’s no. 2 driver. Also, in past interviews I remember him saying that his contract was similar to Michael’s in that one part of it says they need to put Ferrari’s interests first and follow team orders (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vssilEdhK7Y). I think on his part, Rubens was being naive and too optimistic in that he thought he could easily match and outdo Michael; that all he needed was a competitive car. He underestimated to 7-time (then a 2-time) world champion.

    It’s just that Rubens’ performance is like this: on a great day he is unbeatable, on a good day he’s quick, on an average day he’s just in the upper mid-field and on a horrid day he’s no where. Whereas Michael was always up there fighting in the top 3. And the thing is, Rubens showed the same sort of performance inconsistencies when he was Jenon’s team-mate last year. He (Barrichello) was all over the place and failed to capitalize on the Brawn’s early advantage. And although he was majestic in the latter part of the season (whereas Jenson was quite average), it was all too late. By that stage, the title was more or less decided; which was probably why Ross Brawn allowed him to win because he (Ross) knew deep down that Rubens had come in a little too late and that all Jenson had to do was stick close.

    These sort of inconsistencies, and perhaps a lack of initiative, was what – in my belief – relegated Rubens to no. 2 status in Ferrari and to some extent in Brawn GP. He just couldn’t put in an awe inspiring performance week-in-week-out to convince the team he was championship material. His performance levels were too unpredictable and perhaps he showed a lesser sort of commitment compared to Michael who quite frankly, lived, breathed and ate F1 during those years.

    He was a good back up though (far superior compared to Irvine), which is why you can probably say he contributed heavily to Michael and Ferrari winning all those WDCs & WCCs, respectively. And credit too, to Michael for foreseeing this when he gave his 2 cents worth on whether to hire the Brazilian or not… and another proof of why Rubens was never quite the man at Ferrar: Schumacher already knew of Rubens’ capabilities and limits even before he joined the Scuderia.

    Completely the opposite of Fernando Alonso, who has seized the initiative at Ferrari and convinced them that he was the man to take them to their next title.

    1. Steve L says:

      Did Schumacher really have his ’2 cents’ on hiring Barrichello? (if so very interesting),not heard that before & surpising that a driver would have an input on his future team mate.

      Barrichello strikes me as a thoroughly decent kind of guy, maybe he has been too nice over the years in a sport where you have to be ruthless & this has held him back? (although I do rememeber a certain very public rant after the German GP in 2009, perhaps he was making up for lost time…Ross Brawn was behind Austria & also his perceived loss in Germany in his view)

      I wonder if he now regrets moving over in austria and wishes he hadn’t done it (did it really do him any favours?)

      Maybe he should have taken a leaf out of Webber’s no nonsense book – that man isn’t for turning!!

      I have to say he is without doubt one of my favourite drivers to watch & certainly being interviewed – I like his blend of honesty & good natured humour & I thought the way he conducted himself after the most recent Schumacher incident was tremendous and showed great dignity & maturity – what a top guy!

  29. Lev Piautzer says:

    Well al i can say regarding Felipe

    I think it will be very difficult for Felipe, because he had something what Rubens didn’t. Equal treatment when pairing with kimi. unfortunately he only reacted to Kimi once he had already won the title and didn’t really seem to care as much (or should i say even less).

    While Alonso is as Scumacher somebody who doesn’t just give up. If Kimi didnt care and with that was giving Felipe space, Alonso will not give him that. He made that very clear in the first few races.

  30. Bond007 says:

    james, must say the pic is “awesome”, it looks more like an art :) that’s master photography. it truely made me happy :) thanks

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ll tell Darren – he’s sitting next to me!

    2. SeanG says:

      I second that. An absolutely awesome image. I really like the fact that excellent images, at good resolution/size, are available here on JAF1.

      Thanks!

      1. alejandro says:

        be sure to tell him his blog also rocks!

  31. Sammy says:

    I don’t undestand why we are discussing Rubens’ position in his Ferrari-days, the guy earnt so much money, we, normal persons couldn’t even imagine. Please stop before you call him ‘poor’. Think about it. He knew he was treated as a 2nd driver when he signed those contracts -6 years!
    Nevertheless, great to have him still on the track, together with Schumi. They ones raced the legend Ayrton Senna.

  32. Tombstone says:

    I would definitely buy a copy of his autobiography – IF it dishes the dirt on the stomping donkeys.

  33. Cyprus-Toon says:

    Off Topic – The crash Vettle had last time out at Spa, could that of been caused by the Red Bull driver taking his hand off the steering to use the F-duct which most team have to do,except McLaren?? I mean if he did that & due to it being a damp track as well, it may have caused him to lose control at that speed??

    Anyways, back on topic, I’m disgusted with the outcome of the decision by the WMSC, not only did the team get away with breaking the team order rule, Massa got away with being half a car length advantage at the start of the Spa GP…. this isn’t Formula One anymore, it’s the Ferrari Show & their rules…. it’s put a very nasty taste in my mouth & I’m seriously considering not watching it anymore….

    Like Button says he’ll quit if they allow team orders, I’ll quit watching if they do, it won’t be racing anymore, it’ll be tactical defending & if thats the case, what is the point in any teams having 2 drivers, they may as well allow 24 teams with 1 driver per team, at least that way we’ll get to see proper Grand Prixs instead of the Ferrari show!!!

    1. Harvey Yates says:

      Which crash? You have to be specific.

      1. Cyprus-Toon says:

        Sorry, I thought he only had 1 crash in the SPA race, the one with Button which sent Button out of the race.. the others weren’t really crashes, yes he had contact but it wasn’t a crash.. is that specific enough???

  34. EM says:

    In my years of watching F1 Ruebens has always seemed like the unluckiest driver in the paddock.

    Whenever TV run a pre-race feature on Ruebens going for a home win or his 300th GP etc he always seems to end up with a DNF.

    They say you make your own luck so perhaps he tries too hard to live up to the billing and maybe he takes too many risks to prove himself a natural number one.

    Undeniably he’s a good driver, he did outclass Schumi on occasions but he’s never dominated a really good teammate and he was never a master at getting the good out of a bad car like Hamilton last year or Alonso in the Renault years.

    In the final analysis he’ll be remembered as a good guy. A Ricardo Patrese kinda guy, there a long time, always a talking point in a race but never quite up there with whoever the fastest guys on the grid are.

  35. SPIDERman says:

    i find it strange that RUBENS thinks that ALONSO is THE BEST formula one driver around.
    THAT IS ATTER BULLOCKS ie
    a driver who needs team orders in order to help overtake a better performing ream mate is TO ME NOT REALLY that good

    ADRIVER who needs help to MANIPULATE a race win like what come about during the Renault singaporegate? scandal IS to not that good either…
    AM not rooting for HAMILTON but think of this way ..he turned a dog of a car in 2009 into a reliable race winning car after many struggles…and to date he is one of the few drivers on the grid who really tries push no matter what the car is un able to deliver….

    i strongly believe that IF you gave HAMILTON that under performing HISPANIA or VIRGIN RACING CAR he IS CAPABLE OF PUSHING those cars to a respectable finishing positions to the end of any race.

  36. Ralph says:

    With all the respect due to these Barrichello and Massa as F1 drivers, who’s fault is it they are number two drivers?

    Alonso has made Massa his bitch, Schumacher did the same to Barrichello.

    Can you imagine Prost, Schumacher (first career) or Alonso moving over for their team mates?

    It’s up to the drivers to use everything in their power to become world champions. That is the distinction between a multiple world champion and a quick driver.

    Its the same reason Hamilton appears so uncomfortable on TV, he wants to appear a nice guy, but he knows that deep within him is the heart of a calculating bastard.

    So, all the controversy about team orders and everyone feeling sorry for Mass and Barrichello. They are the ones at fault here. They don’t have the killer instinct and it shows in their careers.

    Webber, has aptly demonstrated what a driver needs to do in order to not become sidelined and thought of as a number two driver. Although he is unlikely to win many championships he has played the game far better than Massa or Barrichello ever did.

    Its easy to look at F1 grid and say who would move over and who wouldn’t. It might be team orders but the drivers still have to enact them.

  37. Harvey Yates says:

    There’s more to being de facto #2 than just having to let your team mate past when he’s got more power.

    Johnny Herbert tells a story of when he outqualified MS. From that time on he was not allowed access to MS’ set-up information and readouts, although the reverse was not true. So the stats show the MS was a faster driver. I wonder if MS took that deal to his next team.

    Williams have a history of favouring one driver over the other. Mansell complained of getting inferior engines compared to Honda’s favourite, Piquet. This was rubbished by the team and Honda, and in was the start of the press calling NM whinger. It was some time later that Honda admitted to tuning the engines to suit the different ‘characteristics’ of the drivers. Mansell, it seemed, needed less BHP. That’s a dodgy characteristic for any driver. So perhaps Nige didn’t whinge enough.

    I remember Mansell using the spare car, set up for Piquet, in a race and being so much faster than in his own. And the sister car as well. It was apparent that despite what many believed (I hope I wasn’t on my own), Mansell, in equal machinery, was the equal of Piquet and at times significantly better.

    Drivers bring money to a team. The Spanish connection is important to Ferrari. Upsetting Alonso meant upsetting Santander and that cost McLaren dear. Such politics are a fact of life. It has gone on for years. But there is a big difference between favouritism and ordering drivers to pull over.

    What this shows is that in the times of the Schumacher, Brawn, Todt and the others at Ferrari the WDCs were team victories. The same goes for many other teams. There have been all too few times of the Mansell/Piquet, Senna/Prost, Alonso/Hamilton banging wheels and heads in equal machinery.

    I can’t see Frank Williams staying in charge of the team for much longer. He has a valuable asset that he will probably want to realise. The question is whether Patrick Head would want to take over officially. If he doesn’t then who would? It will probably go to the highest bidder.

    FW is the longest serving team manager in the pitlane. Every other team has undergone such significant changes that they are, in effect, new teams. It will be a sad day when he and Head are permanently missing from the pits. They are real enthusiasts for the sport.

    They appear to have got into bed with the FIA. Fair enough they have a big investment with them. But what was the point of the letter to the WMSC?

    RB said to you:

    “All that needs changing is the base concepts of how to develop the car. For five years now they have had poor drivability.”

    Is that a bit of a dig, James? If so there is little doubt where it is aimed.

    Rubens has changed. His response to being nearly put into the pitwall by MS was excellent. I like this new, chatty RB. He certainly seems happier than he’s been for some time.

    I’ve always, at least after Clark, supported teams rather than drivers. I find the talk of stas proving which driver is better all rather pointless. We all too infrequently have enough evidence.

  38. Spyros says:

    I am really glad that Rubens is still driving, and look forward to his performances for as long as he stays in F1.

    Let’s not forget that moment, a year ago, when he drove in the pitlane, as the Monza winner, to the applause of every single mechanic in the paddock. There are prima-donna drivers, nice guys and everything in between in F1, but Rubens is the nicest of the nice guys out there…

    …which means that, when he has something RUDE to say about a team or a driver, I, for one, hang on to his every word – and I’m a Schumi fan!

  39. morten says:

    I find it great that Rubens is finally getting to lead a team the way he wants it. And I believe Williams will benefit quite a lot from his experience from other teams. With that being.said he was never consistently as quick as Michael in Ferrari. But you need to remember that all the development was prioritized after what Michael needed. I believe it would be quite hard telling the team that you need to develop certain characteristics from the car for Rubens to be quick, when a man having been there 4 years and won a championsip says “no no, I need it to be as it is” . As for Jenson beating Rubens the first half of the season with him trailing second. Remember Rubens had problems finding the optimum biting point for the brakes. They changed the brake characteristics halfway through the season. And Rubens was consistently beating Jenson after that. Really looking forward to see what he can do with Williams next year as they are a proper team that deserves a break from the dry spell they have encountered the last years.

  40. Lee Roberts says:

    Does anyone know if it’s true that Rome has just signed a five year deal to host F1 from 2012

  41. O.K. Barrichello if you were wise you would never sign up in the first place. 20 years 0 Titles. That is a great achievement. No where close to Schumacher. Anywhere, now it is time for you to relate all those sad stories of F1 to your great grand children. Safe racing and no crying.

  42. Danny says:

    Sour grapes by Rubens if he’s that good, why didn’t he beat Jenson Button (who’s hardly a driver of Schumacher’s ilk) last year, presumably no one was given number one status at Brawn last year. Get a grip Rubens did you sign Ferrari contracts with your eyes closed.

  43. tom baker says:

    Barrichello complains too much.

    Last year he threw a hissy fit because he got it into his head that Brawn was favoring Button.

    He left Ferrari, the most dominant team ever, for Honda? And spent how many years in the worst car on the grid? And that was preferable to finishing second to Schumacher?

    A pattern emerges. When Rubens is in a non-contender like Williams, Honda, Jordan, etc, he’s happy just to be driving. No expectations, no pressure. Making Q3 is a podium.

    When he’s in a contender and can’t beat his teammate he looks for excuses. Nothing is ever his fault, it’s always somebody else who caused the crash.

  44. Peter says:

    Yes Rubens. You had such a torrid time at Ferrari that you ONLY spent 6 seasons there. You may get the sympathy vote from others but you’er not getting it from me.

    He never quite remembers the times Schumacher held back to let him win. Italy 2002, Hungary 2002, Europe 2002, China 2004 – the list is endless.

  45. mo kahn says:

    What wisdom can he possibly offer Massa??? How to effectively cry first and then take out Fernando Alonso? :))

  46. Well said, and its the facts about Rubens. We are not here to comment goody goody statements and false praises.When I commented here he cried and sobbed till they took it out. I love the sense of humor@Tom Baker, and the facts about Rubens well said@Peter,Mo Kahn and again Tom.

  47. Trey says:

    I think Massa will improve next year.

  48. Rubens deserves at least one more win before he retires. A little compensation for the years he let Schumacher win some races

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