Rubens Barrichello Q&A

Rubens Barrichello was one of four drivers caught up in the initial collision at the second corner of the Italian GP. Having qualified second, the Brazilian got away poorly after braking to stop his car creeping, and then suffering from excessive wheelspin. Mika Hakkinen, David Coulthard and Jarno Trulli all got ahead of him. Rubens was in the process of re-passing the Italian when he was struck from behind by the second Jordan of Heinz-Harald Frentzen. Autosport.com spoke to Barrichello shortly after the finish of the race

Rubens Barrichello Q&A



"For me it's quite clear. I was behind Trulli, and I outbraked Trulli at the turn number four. So basically I came to the left, I chose the left line, and I outbraked him and was running alongside him. And then I felt a big, big bang on my back. So I was so surprised, because I braked so late to outbrake Trulli, that how could someone hit me from behind?

"Basically he touched me so hard that he couldn't stop and he took Trulli and Trulli eventually took DC. I'm mad about someone saying Trulli was the cause of it because Frentzen was completely, completely out of order. He saw that he had no gap to go and he was trying to force a gap or something, because he hit me so hard, so hard.

"And I'm even more mad that people are saying that he said I braked early. Because I outbraked Trulli. How come I braked early? I was lucky that I stayed in the car, because I could have got out, and basically what would have happened was that de la Rosa's car could have cut my body in two. I was inside my car just waiting for the sand to calm down, and basically I felt a big bang on my head. It was de la Rosa's car that just came and took a bit of my helmet off. Frentzen was really out of order today."



"I couldn't really see from where I was, because the gravel trap put so much smoke up. I put my neck down and waited for something to happen. After Spa '98 I took a bit of experience not to relax too early."



"I talked to DC, because DC initially was mad at Trulli. But I thought it's not Trulli, it's Frentzen. I mean Frentzen got involved with a lot of people these last couple of races. He's so under pressure from Trulli, and I think he's behaving like when he was 15. In qualifying he got in front of me already, and that was really upsetting. And now the guy just says that I braked early. He could say that Trulli braked early because he was going to run behind Coulthard, but I just outbraked Trulli. How come?"



"I saw the guy beside the track, and that someone was pumping his body to revive him. But they didn't let me go there. I was lucky that I didn't see him. My heart goes with him. We could be blamed to be crazy to be racing ourselves, but someone completely out of the picture to get hurt is really annoying."



"In a way I was surprised, because there were a lot of pieces on the track, there were a lot of cars, and I think the marshal needed attention a little bit earlier. So I was surprised, yes. I would say we need to review the situation, because lately you could say that Austria or Hockenheim they took out the cars quite soon, but not here. I think here it took a long time. It's not because I'm out of the race, but it was so clear that there was something big going on that they had to stop the race."



"They said it was under discussion and they were studying the things. What has annoyed me is that Frentzen blamed me for braking early. That's ridiculous, that's really something that is out of mind. I'm upset about Frentzen's comments. This is not a sportsman. This is something that... I mean today it was serious. Today it was really serious. The way he hit me it was like a 'boom', he was completely flat by the time I braked. You can see that, because I didn't hit Trulli. Trulli said I was behind him, and that's true, but when I went to outbrake him I went to the left. When I braked, which was really late, I spun. And I didn't hit anyone. Frentzen hit Trulli and Trulli hit DC. That was the picture."



"Today we had a really good racing car. Of course McLaren thought that it was a bluff from qualifying. Having just talked to Michael he said the car felt really, really nice. It was just nice to be able to have that sort of race. Today I think we could have done a one-two."

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