Barrichello Gets Schumacher's Spare, Not His Luck

Ferrari gave Rubens Barrichello more support on Sunday but the Brazilian was still unable to shake off the bad luck that has so frequently followed him in Formula One.

Barrichello Gets Schumacher's Spare, Not His Luck

Ferrari gave Rubens Barrichello more support on Sunday but the Brazilian was still unable to shake off the bad luck that has so frequently followed him in Formula One.

The Brazilian, usually playing second fiddle to World Champion Michael Schumacher, can count on the team's spare car since the German won his fifth Drivers' Championship last weekend.

He needed it in his teammate's home Grand Prix as Schumacher raced unhindered to his ninth win in 12 outings this season while Barrichello struggled to finish fourth. His race car, so often attracting the gremlins that steer clear of the German, developed a gearbox problem as he drove it around the circuit to the starting grid before the formation lap.

The Brazilian was forced to switch hurriedly and made it out of the pitlane with only seconds to spare before the deadline while mechanics wheeled the other Ferrari off the second row.

"I reported a problem to the pits and I thought they were going to be able to sort it out but then they said no, just jump into the T-car (spare)," he said.

It proved to be just the start of another difficult afternoon for Barrichello, whose two wins and greatest career moments have come in Germany. At the French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours a week previously, Barrichello failed to start after being left stranded on the grid on the formation lap. Schumacher powered on untroubled to win the race and title.

"I had many problems today," said the Brazilian. "After the first pitstop I just started to have small problems. I had a brake problem and I had no water inside the car. It was a bit of a struggle the whole afternoon."

Hopes Evaporated

On his second and final pit stop, Barrichello's hopes of a podium finish evaporated as he was held for more than 20 seconds for refuelling.

"The fuel hatch didn't open for some reason, we have to see what happened," he said. Without it, he could well have anchored Schumacher to a Ferrari one-two.

"I should have been on the podium big time," he said. "I could have finished second because Ralf (Schumacher) had a problem and I think Juan Pablo (Montoya) was 10 seconds behind us."

Montoya ended up second after his Williams teammate Ralf dropped to third with a late engine problem.

"Michael was definitely fighting for the win here and I think he deserved it. But today I would have finished second I think," said Barrichello.

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