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Rediff.com  » Sports » Barrichello ends five year wait for victory

Barrichello ends five year wait for victory

Last updated on: August 23, 2009 

Barrichello wins European Grand Prix

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Brazilian Rubens Barrichello ended five years of frustration on Sunday with an emotional victory for championship leaders Brawn GP in the European Grand Prix.

Barrichello, whose last victory was with Ferrari in China in September 2004, beat McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton by 2.3 seconds on a sizzling afternoon at the Valencia street circuit.

"I wish this moment could last forever. I want to stay here until Monday," said the 37-year-old, who sobbed in his helmet as he took the chequered flag for Brawn's seventh win in 11 starts.


Image: Rubens Barrichello
Photographs: Reuters
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McLaren blunder cost Hamilton victory

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Hamilton had led from pole but his hopes of winning for the second race in a row went out of the window when his team bungled the second pitstop.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen finished third.

Championship leader Jenson Button, Barrichello's team mate, laboured to seventh place after a shocking start but, astonishingly, saw his overall lead trimmed by just half a point to 18 with six races left.

The Briton now has 72 to Barrichello's 54 and 51.5 for Red Bull's Australian Mark Webber.

Webber finished out of the points in ninth place while German team mate Sebastien Vettel, who had been third overall, retired with a blown engine after also suffering a similar failure in pre-race practice. He has 47 points.


Image: Lewis Hamilton

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'You don't forget how to win'

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Barrichello's victory was the 10th of a career that started in 1993 and the Brazilian, the oldest driver on the grid until Ferrari stand-in Luca Badoer came along to replace the recovering Massa, was ecstatic.

"It's fantastic," said the Brazilian, whose career had looked to be over when Brawn's predecessors Honda pulled out in December. "It's been a weekend I will never forget.

"After five years you don't forget how to win but it's tough. There was a lot going through my mind," added the Brazilian, racing with a message of support for injured compatriot Felipe Massa on his helmet.


Image: Rubens Barrichello

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Vettel forced to retire

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Vettel's race had already been ruined by a problem with the fuel pump at his first stop, forcing him to return to the pitlane next time around.

"What happened? Too much. Too many issues. First stop, we did not put fuel in the car. Then the race was lost. After that we had an engine failure, or it was exhaust," he told BBC television.

"I will fight for the championship until the last breath but days like this... not finishing the race is not a good thing."


Image: Sebastien Vettel

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Badoer finishes last on comeback

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At the back, Badoer could at least say he finished the race but there was little else positive to say about the 38-year-old Italian's return after nearly a decade away.

He chalked up his 50th race without a point, 17th and last of the finishers.

Badoer also collected a drive through penalty for crossing the white line at the pit lane exit and was lapped by the 35th of the 57 laps.


Image: Luca Badoer

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