Rubens Barrichello is preparing to fly to England for the next round of the world championship this Sunday and he is in a great mood after watching the Brazilian team win the soccer World Cup last weekend. "I came to Portugal, primarily to play in...
Rubens Barrichello is preparing to fly to England for the next round of the world championship this Sunday and he is in a great mood after watching the Brazilian team win the soccer World Cup last weekend. "I came to Portugal, primarily to play in a charity golf match and it was a great place to watch the World Cup Final, because of the common language," he said. "I was in a friend's house and everyone in the street seemed to have a Brazilian flag. A Brazilian friend brought me a referee's whistle, so we had a very noisy time! I even rang Michael a couple of times and left him a message blowing the whistle down the phone!"
"It was a fantastic final. The first goal was really a mistake by the German goalkeeper. From then on we just wanted two to make the result safer. When Ronaldo scored a second time with a tremendous goal, we went wild. The house was near the golf course and I think the people playing were disturbed by all the noise we made. As for my own golf tournament, I was playing in a Brazilian foursome and we finished third, so all in all it was a great weekend."
Now, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro man is turning his attention to the British Grand Prix, which is something of a home track, as he spent so much time racing in the lower formulae and then testing for English F1 teams. "My earliest memory of racing at Silverstone goes back to 1990, when I was in the European Opel-Lotus series and I came here to do a race to get to know the track," he explained. "It was a huge grid and a very challenging championship, with drivers like Coulthard and De Ferran competing. That time, it did not go so well, but later I won the Lotus race at the Grand Prix meeting, so I have fond memories of this place."
Testing at Silverstone a month ago gave Barrichello a chance to re-acquaint himself with the place. "The conditions were tricky, because it was wet and then the wind dried the track very quickly," recalled the Brazilian. "The car worked very well so I am looking forward to the race. In terms of set-up, you need a bit of everything: aerodynamically the car needs to work well because of fast corners like Copse, Becketts and Stowe. You also need good brakes for Club and Brooklands and the tyres have to survive well, because you need good traction out of some of the turns. The track really needs a good combination of all the elements of the car."
The weather forecast is not good for the weekend, and as usual at this event there is a strong chance of rain. "Actually, driving the Silverstone track in the rain can be interesting and fun," was Barrichello's view. "The only problem is if the rain arrives in the middle of the race and the car's settings are not adjusted for the conditions. But, whatever the weather, I expect to be competitive this weekend."