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Rubens Barrichello Biography

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Birth Name(s) : Rubens Barrichello Date of Birth: N/A
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Profession: Athlete
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Rubens Gonçalves Barrichello (born May 23, 1972) is a Brazilian Formula One race driver. He currently drives for Honda.

Barrichello was born in São Paulo, as the son of Rubens Barrichello Juniór. Both his father and paternal grandfather are also named Rubens. Barrichello shares his father's birthday: May 23. Therefore, Rubens Barrichello is called Rubinho (Portuguese for little Rubens) and it became his nickname.

Barrichello was an extremely promising driver in his youth, winning five karting titles in Brazil before going to Europe to race the Formula Lotus series in 1990. In his first year, he won the championship, a feat he replicated the following year in the British Formula 3 Championship, beating a young Briton named David Coulthard. He very nearly joined Formula One at just 19 years of age but joined Formula 3000 instead. There would be no title, but a solid third place did little to hurt his value, and he promptly joined the Jordan Formula One team for the 1993 Formula One Season.Reubens Barrichello driving for Jordan in 1993

Barrichello had an effective rookie year. In his third race, European Grand Prix, he started from 12th place in very wet conditions but was 4th by the end of the first lap. He went as high as second and was still an incredible third before encountering a fuel problem. Unfortunately, the car's reliability was poor during the whole 1993 season and there were few finishes. Nevertheless, Barrichello regularly outpaced his more experienced teammates. In the French Grand Prix, he came close to scoring his first point (and the team's first that year) but lost out to Michael Andretti in the final lap. The only point finish of the season came finally at Suzuka with fifth place, ahead of his new teammate Eddie Irvine. 1994 started well with a 4th place in Brazil and a 3rd place at Aida that put him in second place in the Drivers ranking. But Rubens' career was very nearly curtailed at the tragic San Marino Grand Prix, where a violent crash during practice knocked him unconscious, nearly killing him. His spirits were not any better after his mentor Ayrton Senna's death at the race two days later. Despite this deep personal loss, Barrichello recovered his confidence and raced strongly in the remainder of the races - including a pole position at Spa-Francorchamps. At the time he was the youngest driver to secure pole position. He finished an excellent sixth in the Drivers' Championship, top of the drivers outside the established manufacturer-backed teams.Barrichello at the 1997 Canadian Grand Prix.

A similar year with the team followed in 1995, the highlight being a second place finish in Montreal. There were high hopes for 1996, with the Peugeot engine maturing in a reliable and powerful unit and fresh money brought to the team by Benson & Hedges. Indeed things started well, Rubens being amongst the frontrunners in Brazil before the car let him down. However as the season unfolded it turned out that Jordan would not be a regular contender for the win. His relationship with team owner Eddie Jordan soured during 1996, and he left for the newly formed Stewart Grand Prix in 1997. It was a difficult first year for the team, and Rubens only finished three races all year. The obvious highlight was a second place finish in Monaco.

1998 was not much better for Stewart, but Rubens continued to perform well. He consistently beat teammate Jan Magnussen, which resulted in Magnussen being dropped at the French Grand Prix, replaced by Jos Verstappen. 1999 was a much better year for the Stewart team. Rubens qualified 5th in the seasons opening race, and managed to take pole position in the wet qualifying session in France. He also took three podiums, in San Marino, France, and at the 1999 European Grand Prix, which was won by teammate Johnny Herbert. Barrichello had the better of the battle, though, and caught the eye of Ferrari boss Jean Todt, and he was signed for the 2000 season.

He managed to achieve only four victories during this time. However, team orders forced the Brazilian to cede to Schumacher one potential victory, the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, where he slowed down at the last turn of the race for Michael to take victory. Such behaviour eventually led to team orders being banned in 2003.

In the 2004 season, Barrichello finished second behind teammate Michael Schumacher in only seven of the first thirteen races, but he won both the Italian Grand Prix and the Chinese Grand Prix to clinch second place in the championship, finishing the year with 114 points and 14 podiums.

Though Barrichello had good cars during his Ferrari era, he has been very unlucky at his home race, as he has failed to finish eleven of the fifteen Brazilian Grands Prix in which he has competed. His best result was a third place in 2004.

Barrichello did not score any points during the 2007 season, partially due to the Honda RA107's lack of pace. This was the first season, since his debut in 1993, that Barrichello did not score any world championship points.

Honda confirmed on July 19, 2007, that Rubens Barrichello will remain with the team as a race driver for the 2008 formula 1 season. If he completes the 2008 season, he will break Riccardo Patrese's record for the driver that has started the most Grands Prix, a record that has currently stood for 14 years.
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