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Grapevine: Rubens to Give Family an F1 Ride

Rubens Barrichello's last drive in a Ferrari Formula One car will be with his grandfather and other family members sitting behind him

Sunday's season-ending Chinese Grand Prix will be the Brazilian's final race for the Italian glamour team before he moves to Honda-owned BAR as Briton Jenson Button's teammate next year.

But he wants to give his family an idea of his car's performance before he goes and has arranged to take them out for rides in Ferrari's three-seater at the Italian team's test track near Maranello.

"I'm going to do something that I have wanted to do for so long," Barrichello said at the Shanghai circuit where he won his last race for the team a year ago.

"I am going to take my family to drive the three-seater with me in Fiorano, that's going to be the bye-bye to Ferrari.

"I'm going to take them for a ride to see what I mean by going fast. All those who have done so much for me - grandad, mother, father, sister, everyone," he said.

Ferrari have built a three-seater version of their F2002 car, with the two passengers sitting behind the driver with a clear view of the track, and Barrichello will drive it on October 24.

A Ferrari spokesman said the car, used mainly for VIP visitors and promotional purposes, had been driven previously by testers Luca Badoer and Marc Gene but not seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher.

Few Regrets

Looking back on his six years alongside Schumacher, the Brazilian said he had few regrets.

"I have had far more happiness than anger," he declared.

"The win here was one of the happiest moments. But it still seems like yesterday that I went for the first time to Fiorano to see my name on the side of the car.

"The track was still covered in snow and we had to wait the whole morning."

Barrichello arrived at Ferrari in 2000 as a replacement for Northern Irishman Eddie Irvine, with the Italian team winning the constructors' title the previous year but chasing their first driver's title for 21 years.

"I arrived at a difficult time," he said. "I am proud to have played part in their growth."

Barrichello said the Austrian Grand Prix of 2002, which caused uproar when he was ordered to let Schumacher win despite having led from start to finish, had been good for him by giving him more of a say in the team afterwards.

"Maybe the worst moment for me was when I ran out of fuel in Brazil," he said, referring to his home race of 2003 when he started on pole and retired while in the lead. "That still hurts."

Despite the frustration of playing second fiddle to Schumacher, with the Brazilian clearly angry when the champion forced his way past on the last lap at Monaco this year, he said he would remain friends with the German.

"Sometimes I got out of the car and said a few things that I felt needed to be said. But I always wanted to be at one with the team and friends with Michael and that will not change."

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