Barrichello - I can be Champion

Barrichello - I can be Champion

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello believes he can take the World Driver's Championship despite team mate Michael Schumacher having number one status. Barrichello's disgruntlement was clear to see in Austria last season, when in only the sixth race...

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello believes he can take the World Driver's Championship despite team mate Michael Schumacher having number one status.

Barrichello's disgruntlement was clear to see in Austria last season, when in only the sixth race team orders were called into play. Running second in the race at the A-1 Ring, Barrichello was ordered to pull over and let Schumacher past - a move he left until the final corner of the final lap to make his point.

Rubens Barrichello.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
Despite Schumacher's dominance the Brazilian still remains positive and insists he can be on equal terms with his team mate. Speaking at Madonna di Campiglio, Ferrari's winter retreat, Barrichello said:

"To drive in the team with Michael is very difficult because everything is prepared for him to win more than it is prepared for me to win. But the first time I wake up thinking that I can't win anymore that is the time I will stop. Yes, I think I can be world champion, (racing) with Michael."

Despite Schumacher's number one status, Barrichello says who is ranked as top driver within the team is not an issue.

"It is not important anymore. As long as I am driving a competitive car and they provide me with the same car as Michael it doesn't matter who is number one or who is number two."

He insisted that both driver's receive the same information on performance, but admitted he couldn't identify what it was that gave Schumacher the advantage on the track.

"I couldn't tell you easily what Michael does differently to what I do. The papers are there, open for all to look at and we do checklists at the end of every session and look at what are the problems of everyone. It is not so easy to say 'Well, Michael does it this way and I should do it this way'. We drive it differently, for me it is very clear that the car is equal for both of the drivers."

Barrichello gave some indication of how his team mate benefits from his status at Ferrari: "He has been there for such a long time and if in the middle of the race he is talking to Ross (Brawn - Ferrari's technical director) for example and I'm not on the line then for sure he is going to have an advantage. Because Ross has a way of looking ahead and, you know, preparing something else and I will be the second option to do it."

Schumacher won the title last season with four races to go and Barrichello says that with the team focused on him, he proved himself a contender.

"I have proved in the last four races of the championships when the attention was on me that I was able to deal with it and if it wasn't for a little lack of fortune I would have won two of the last four races. I know I will have at least 30-35 percent of the attention and it is growing. There will be a time when if I keep on working I think we will get to 50-50 and then that is the right time for me to attack more or to have more results. Right now I feel that I am in a much better shape inside Ferrari than I was two years ago. I like the way things are going. We have the same cars and it is just a question of keeping my determination like I always have."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello
Teams Ferrari