Barrichello rues early pit stop

Rubens Barrichello's gamble on an early pit stop cost him a crack at victory in the United States Grand Prix

Barrichello rues early pit stop

But the Brazilian recovered to follow team leader Michael Schumacher home to hand Ferrari their third 1-2 of the season.

A massive helping of 18 points takes Ferrari 10 points clear at the head of the Constructors Championship, as rivals McLaren picked up just two points with David Coulthard's fifth spot.

"I pitted too early," admitted Barrichello. "It was my choice.

"Michael checked the slicks this morning and said they were too difficult in the wet, but I had too much oversteer and so I gambled.

"It was quite a difficult period for me at that time because it was hard to keep the car on the track.

"As soon as I realised I had come in too early I decided to concentrate on keeping the car on the track because I knew I had a long way to go and could catch everyone late in the race."

Barrichello came out on top of a late race tussle with Frentzen and was lucky to avoid Jacques Villeneuve when the BAR spun in front of him.

"I didn't know which way he was going to go so I just had to go wide because I thought I would hit him." he added.

"It was a funny moment because the corner before Ross [Brawn] came on the radio and said: 'Coulthard is coming very fast can you get by Jacques'.

"I went around the next corner and he had spun."

But it was the crucial move past Frentzen that handed him six points.

"He was struggling on the infield, but there was no way to pass him," said Barrichello.

"I was praying he would pit and he did and then I saw my chance. Those three laps the car was working fantastically so I pushed as much as I could and made up the time."

The Brazilian is back in the hunt for third place in the championship as he sits just eight points behind Coulthard, who is third with two races remaining.

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