To mark Rubens Barrichello’s 257th race, the most a Formula One driver has ever competed, Honda will give Barrichello a special livery and helmet design to use this weekend at Istanbul Park. Of course, it isn’t entirely clear if this is actually Barrichello’s 257th race start, but the Brazilian has decided to mark the occasion on Sunday. Riccardo Patrese’s long-standing record of 256 will finally fall. For younger fans who may have never seen Patrese, the Italian is pictured in the photo next to Barrichello.
Rubens has already been celebrating, and Honda organised a golf tournament in Barcelona following the Spanish Grand Prix, and it has also been reported that Barrichello’s family will be in Turkey to help the experienced driver celebrate.
Barrichello has also been the news this week over an interview he gave where he spoke quite candidly about his time at Ferrari. Barrichello stated that he decided to leave Maranello halfway through the infamous 2005 US Grand Prix. Speaking to Brazilian television network, TV Globo, Rubens said that although his team mate, Mchael Schumacher, was not in the hunt for the championship, he was invited to slow his pace slightly to allow Schumacher to pass.
The team invited me to slow my pace so that Michael could get closer to me and to pass me. In this moment I knew that the time had come for me to go. That race in the United States was crucial. Rubens Barrichello.
Rubens went on to say that while there was nothing in his contract about being a number-two driver to Schumacher, he often got angry when he was asked to move aside for Michael.
When I signed the contract there was nothing to indicate that the drivers would be treated differently.[…]
Inside, I was often angry about it, because everyone claimed that there were no differences between us, but it was an unequal battle. Rubens Barrichello.
Rubens won 9 races with Ferrari and finished second in the drivers championship on two occasions. Now driving for Honda, Barrichello is in a poorer performing car, but it is his own performances that now separate him from his team mate, Jenson Button. Sometimes Rubens is up, others he is down. But at least Rubens is racing. And not wanting to jinx anything, but what happens if Barrichello stalls his car on the warm-up lap on Sunday?
All images courtesy of HondaF1.