What happened to Barrichello, Ferrari's 'obligatory second man'

The Brazilian (48 years old), driver with the most GGPP in F1, was the protagonist of an embarrassing episode in Austria 2002: "I got off the podium and I went to vomit with rage".


Rubens Barrichello, born on May 23, 48 years ago, is one of the most successful Brazilians in Formula 1. He was runner-up twice and achieved eleven victories, 14 pole positions and 68 podiums throughout his sporting career. He is the rider with the most grand prizes in the history of the Great Circus, with 323 participations. He went through Ferrari, Williams, Brawn GP, Jordan, Honda and Stewart and retired after the 2011 season, a decade ago.

He is remembered for his role as a squire in the Maranello team, always one rung behind Michael Schumacher. The Kaiser won five consecutive World Cups in Ferrari and Rubens Barrichello was by his side in all. He replaced Eddie Irvine in 2000 and left in 2005 to give way to fellow countryman Felipe Massa. He left triumphs to remember, the first with tears included in the podium at Hockenheim 2000. His best season was 2002, he won four grands prix and finished second in the general classification, but was never in a position to contest the title. In fact, in Austria, that year he had to give up the victory over the same finish line to his teammate, Schumacher, so that he could take advantage of Montoya, in one of the most embarrassing episodes in the history of the championship.

Rubens Barrichello was leading the 2002 Austrian GP, sixth round of the F1 World Championship held on May 12, when he received the team order, specifically from Jean Todt, current FIA president, that he should let Michael Schumacher pass, his partner at Ferrari. The Brazilian refused, but finally decided to accept in the last round "for fear of a sudden dismissal." The Kaiser won in one of the most embarrassing chapters in memory and 'Rubinho' did not even attend the press conference. "I got off the podium and I went to vomit with rage," he acknowledged years later in 'O Globo'.

This is how he recalled the entire episode in his country's publication: "I got to the last corner and decided not to let him pass. But then I thought: 'I love what I do, what happens if I get fired?' And I decided to let Schumacher pass and let him win. I was very angry, I was very angry. If you had listened to the radio at that time, everyone would have been upset. I kept the radio message to publish it in a book one day. ”187 thousandths to them They separated, but the whistles of the fans in the stands are still resounding on the Austrian circuit that begins the 2020 F1 World Cup, aware of the trick that Ferrari had perpetrated to give points that their leader did not need instead of rewarding the great work of the ' squire '.

"Austria 2002 was a mistake. Before the race we discussed how we would handle that situation if it happened. Then we got into the race, Rubens was ahead of Michael and we asked him if he could let him pass", recalls Ross Brawn, current director F1 sports car and at that time technical director of the 'Scuderia'. "Don't make me do that! This is my big chance to win this race!" Rubens replied. Michael was also on the radio and wanted to know when Rubens was going to let it go as we had previously agreed. Then it got worse, because Michael He saw the public reaction and took Rubens to the top step of the podium, for which the FIA fined us a million dollars. Looking back, I insist that the change in position had far worse consequences than it would have been. an internal team problem. The consequences of that were much worse than if Rubens had won the race and we had scolded him in private ", the British engineer finished explaining.

He was able to win the 2009 World Championship

Barrichello was also runner-up in 2004, but that year Schumacher won 12 of the first 13 races and never aspired to lead the standings. With the sanbenito of squire he went to Honda, middle class for two seasons, but still had a chance to proclaim himself world champion: in 2009, the Japanese house left Brackley in the midst of an economic crisis and Mercedes supplied its engines to an orphan team that it would be called Brawn GP, owned by Ross Brawn (and germ of Mercedes F1). The double diffuser they designed in England was a success and the car took a key advantage in the opening races of the season that Red Bull was then unable to cut back. Barrichello achieved six podiums that year and won two races, but the advantage in the team went to Jenson Button, who ended up winning the World Cup ahead of Vettel and the Brazilian. Thereafter, he raced two seasons at Williams and retired from Formula 1. He tested in IndyCar, recommended by his friend Tony Kanaan.

He has continued to compete until 2019 in Brazilian Stock Cars, proclaiming himself champion in 2014, and also in endurance races. He participated in the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Racing Team Nederland team, in addition to four editions of the 24 Hours of Daytona, the last one last year. He is divorced and has two children. The youngest, Edoardo Barrichello, is a karting and single-seater pilot. He overcame a benign tumor in 2018 and now lives in Sao Paulo, his hometown.

Photos from as.com
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