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Rubens Barrichello

Rubens Barrichello, b. May 23, 1972 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is a likable Formula One race driver who has been a successful F1 driver for the past few years.

Barrichello was an extremely promising driver in his youth, winning 5 karting[?] titles in Brazil before going to Europe to race the Formula Lotus series in 1990. In his first year in the series he won the championship, a feat he replicated the following year in British Formula 3, beating a young Briton named David Coulthard to win. 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 3rd place did little to hurt his value, and he signed up with Jordan Grand Prix[?] for the 1993 season.

Barrichello had an effective rookie year, earning only 2 championship points, but he ran 3rd in the European Grand Prix in just his 3rd race before a fuel problem. He regularly outraced his more experienced teammates. While he improved in 1994, his career was very nearly curtailed at the tragic San Marino Grand Prix[?] after a violent practice knocked him unconscious and almost killed him. Medical teams saved his life, but he was not made any better after his mentor Ayrton Senna's death at the race two days later. He never truly recovered, but did manage to earn a pole position at Spa-Francorchamps[?], the youngest driver at the time to earn one, and finished a quite respectable 6th in the championship.

Two more fairly similar years with the team followed, and after the relationship with Jordan soured, he left for the newly formed Stewart Grand Prix[?] for 1997. He struggled in his first two years with Jackie Stewart[?]'s team but managed to earn 7th in the championship in 1999. It was enough for Ferrari to make Rubens Barrichello the #2 driver for Michael Schumacher for the 2000 season.

Barrichello was more than capable of being Schumacher's #2, and managed to get his first victory in Hockenheim[?] that year in his 128th start in F1, the longest wait for a maiden win. "Rubinho", as he is often known, has continued to be successful thanks to Ferrari's dominance of F1; he managed to finish second behind Schumacher in the 2002 championship as Ferrari ran away from the rest of the field. Team orders allowed Barrichello to earn 4 victories with Schumacher trailing him each time by less than a second. The same orders also forced the Brazilian to give Schumacher some of his potential victories. Such behaviour eventually led to team orders being banned for 2003.

Halfway through the 2003 year, Barrichello is tied for 5th in points.

Despite being the newest source of Brazilian pride in F1, Rubinho has been very unlucky at his home race, as he has failed to finish 10 of 11 Brazilian Grands Prix[?] in which he has participated.



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