Barrichello: No More Mr. Nice Guy

Rubens Barrichello issued a warning to his Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher, saying he will no longer play nice when the two are battling on track, after the World Champion overtook the Brazilian in last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix

Barrichello: No More Mr. Nice Guy

Schumacher overtook Barrichello at the exit of the tunnel, on the final lap of the race, moving from eighth to seventh. Barrichello told the press after the race he was unhappy with the move and said he would talk to Schumacher about it. But the German rebuffed the criticism, stating he was in Formula One to race.

"[Schumacher] called me [on Monday]," Barrichello told Gazzetta dello Sport, "but I still have my opinion about it and I told him so.

"If we hit each other we would have ended up crashing against the barriers, and even those three points we managed to gain would have gone up in smoke. Three points are not much for Ferrari, that's true, but they are still useful at the moment.

"In the tunnel, I got a bit too close to Ralf and I had to lift in order not to hit him, and Micheal took advantage of it. If I was the one behind and attempted that pass, the world would have fallen. No, I don't agree with it and I say the things I must say.

"I said what I think to Jean Todt as well, very clearly. I didn't and I don't want to be a moaner, but many times, when we got one-twos, it was said that I gave a big contribution to get precious points for the team, and now I repeat that in this team I demonstrated my worth with nine victories.

"At Ferrari I have a say in matters and I speak clearly to the people working with me. This is not the Ferrari team from [Eddie] Irvine's times, and mine isn't the situation from 2002 anymore, when in Austria I had to give up my victory to Schumacher.

"Now I know that he won't protect my racing line, so I'll act accordingly. In the future I'll have to consider Michael not as a teammate, but like any other driver."

Barrichello added, however, that his change of attitude would not necessarily lead to further friction.

"It is unlikely that situations like Monte Carlo will arise again, and it's obvious that I won't go banging his wheels," the Brazilian said. "I told Michael that I don't agree with what he's done, but at the end of the day we know that he always thinks the way he wants...

"In the meantime what's important for me is the Nurburgring. I race here, in Germany, with a clear objective: to win the Grand Prix."

The Italian newspaper further speculated that Barrichello would be leaving Ferrari at the end of this season, despite a contract until the end of 2006.

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