Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Barrichello's Victory Fuels Title Dreams

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Barrichello's Victory Fuels Title Dreams

Article excerpt

RUBENS Barrichello breathed new life into his Formula One title bid with a gritty and deserved victory on the baking streets of Valencia in yesterday's European Grand Prix.

The Brawn GP driver produced a superb drive from third on the grid to patiently overhaul the front-row starting McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen to claim his 10th career win and first for five years.

After passing Kovalainen at the first pit stops, Barrichello dogged Hamilton until the Englishman's second stop on lap 37, when a miscommunication in the McLaren camp saw the Brazilian move into the lead.

Hamilton entered the pit for his stop just at the moment the team sent him a radio message informing him to continue, but with the driver committed, he arrived at his garage with the team not ready with a new set of tyres.

The wasted seconds were crucial in handing Barrichello a comfortable lead at the front after the second round of pit stops, and the 37-year-old looked untroubled as he ticked off the laps to the flag to claim his first win since the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix.

The Brazilian is now second in the title race, 18 points down on team-mate Jen-soButton, and insists he can pip the Briton to the drivers' crown come the end of the season.

"It's a great win, and of course it puts us into a better situation in the championship and we just have to keep on working," he said. "I think it's very, very much possible.

"It's been a weekend that I will never forget, especially because after five years [without winning a race], it's tough."

Barrichello's victory will go some way to justifying his claim to one of the most competitive seats in grand prix racing, despite the fact many believed his career was over with the withdrawal of Honda over the winter.

With the formation of Brawn from the ashes of the Japanese operation, Barrichello was granted an unexpected extension to his long career, and the man who has started more grands prix than any other driver insists he is only just coming into his best form. …

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