Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

2009 championship contender - Rubens Barrichello - The Brazilian fights for a long-overdue title crown

Published by Christine

Of our three remaining drivers fighting for the title, Rubens is the one who you really think: "It's about time." He's been in the sport for 16 years and been on the podium almost 70 times, but as yet, the championship has never been his. Could 2009 be the year that changes all that?

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It seemed only natural that Barrichello retained his seat beside Button in the new Brawn team. Their partnership worked well in the years previous to the takeover, and despite being at the back of the grid, improvements were being made all the time. Rubens is dogged by rumours of his imminent retirement but out on track, none of that matters.

The Brawn car is one of the most reliable of the field at the moment, and Barrichello has only suffered one retirement so far - in Turkey with a gearbox issue. Other than that, he has finished every race in the points bar one, which puts him on the consistent side of things. Two wins, but a lot of points later, and Rubens is in the title fight.

Generally speaking, no one would be unhappy if Barrichello won the championship this year. He's the nicest guy in the paddock and when he wins, you can tell that even those who just missed out are genuinely happy for him. He's not afraid to show his emotions, and even that 'blah blah blah' blip was sorted out in a reasonable fashion, with everyone able to move on amicably.

With 71 points, he sits in second place in the championship at the moment. He's 14 points behind Button, and with just two races left to go, it's going to be tricky to get the maximum out of each race weekend. Rubens has been more consistent than Button, but he needs JB to have two poor weekends to be able to make the leap. All the while, he needs to keep an eye behind him, as Vettel has had a last-minute spur and is now only two points away from second place. It won't be easy, but it's still entirely possible.

Rubens has seen it all, and his experience speaks volumes. We know that he has had opportunities robbed from him due to his secondary role at Ferrari, but perhaps it is time for the Brazilian to step up, and show that he's not a number two driver anymore.