F1 Winter Break
David and Rubens – to quit or not to quit?
David and Rubens – to quit or not to quit?
Posted By:   |  31 Oct 2008   |  2:30 pm GMT  |  2 comments

David Coulthard bows out this weekend after 246 Grands Prix, slightly less than Rubens Barrichello, who doesn’t know yet whether this will be his last Grand Prix.

 Rubens wants to stay at Honda and some of his performances lately have been strong as he drives home his candidacy. Jenson Button wants him to stay and says that Ross Brawn believes Rubens is driving better now than when he was at Ferrari.

 Knowing when the game is up is the classic dilemma of the ageing racing driver. DC, like Alain Prost, Mika Hakkinen, Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher has acknowledged that he cannot do this wonderful job any more and set up a dignified retirement plan. Rubens, like Nigel Mansell, is likely to be retired by the sport, despite still feeling the fire in his belly. But the faint chance that he may hold on to his seat has kept him going this year. He saw DC making his announcement at Silverstone, but opted not to follow him. If this is the end for Rubens, there is unlikely to be any send off for the driver who has started more Grands Prix than any other in history, which would be a great shame.

 DC and Rubens came through the ranks together. They have very different styles, but have made a similar contribution to the sport, both the very definition of a top class number two driver. Their longevity and results guarantee them a place in the history books, if not a seat in the pantheon of the greats.

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Rubens is more deserving than Fisi for an F1 seat ... but I think he (and Fisi) has had his day and it is time to move on. Would be sad if he didn't get a proper send off ... but expect the Brazilians will show their appreciation during this weekend.


Much as I love David & Reubens, it seems to me that F1 has placed too much emphasis on consistency and dependability recently. Whether this is the Schumacher factor, or just the increasing efficiency and competiveness of teams I'm not sure - but recent racing moves by Hamilton & Massa were met with such hostility by 'racing' fans that it seems we've forgotten what racing is.

So maybe the longevity of David & Reubens career has been helped by this attitude? It seems odd that the longest careers haven't been distinguished by more race wins and championships. You can't imagine Lewis or Kimi being content to drift around in the midfield as seasons pass by.

However, I don't think it's a coincidence that David & Reubens are thoroughly nice blokes. Maybe that's the secret? The pitlane will certainly miss them greatly (if not the racetrack).

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