Brazil’s Oldest Considers His Input

One of the oldest team names in F1 has been enjoying a glimmer of the light it used to bask in. For one of the teams that had been so used to hauling in the championships in the 90s, 2011 finished with a meagre pinch of  five points for Williams, which put the team in ninth place in the Constructor’s Championship, in the final position before the newer teams of Caterham (then Lotus), Marussia (then Virgin Racing) and HRT.

It appeared that it would only get tougher for the privately-run Williams as the gap appearing to be widening evermore between the leading and trailing teams. The end of last season also saw the end of Rubens Barrichello’s F1 career and two-year tenure with Williams. The 40 year-old Brazilian found a drive Stateside and now races in the IndyCar series with KV Racing Technology. As a man who started 322 F1 Grand Prix, he has spoken of how he feels he could have helped his former team Williams to produce results which it has been some way from clinching this season.

“I think it’s a shame for Williams because I think would have had a really big year. Not just for me, also for the team. Williams would have benefitted from me.

“I would have been a good team-mate as a coach for Senna, Bottas or Maldonado. Next to me they would have gone much better than they can now.”

The erratic Maldonado has not scored a point since his Spanish GP win in May

With their driver pairing consisting of Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna, the team have a duo who possess limited experience in F1. Maldonado being the only one with a full season’s experience to his name, although Senna did compete in all but one race during 2010 for HRT. It is a year of renewed competitiveness for Williams, a car which has seen more points finishes than in the entirety of last year. The peak of these being Maldonado’s calm defence against Fernando Alonso to take the team’s first victory since 2004.

Though while Maldonado did help create the team’s brightest 2012 headline, he also has been the villain for many fans and media as the Venezuelan has thrown away a number of points finishes due to incidents involving other drivers and more often than not, being found to be the guilty party. Senna has not had the eventful season of his team-mate, being more steady than rocky but he has been the cleaner driver, collecting points on more outings than Maldonado with Senna’s most recent finish being ninth at the latest race of the season, the Hungarian Grand Prix. It was a drive which team founder Frank Williams labelled as a “coming of age”.

Rubinho, as Barrichello is affectionately known by his fans in his native Brazil, is still sure that with his help the team could have realised more of it’s potential in a year which has seen less ups than downs.

“Look at Maldonado. He had few accidents last year than this season. Pastor is super-fast and with me at his side he would’ve been a lot more controlled.

“Okay so they have more points to his tally than last year but with this car we would have been in the top third.”

His last win came on home soil for his former Ferrari team, who he drove for between 2000 and 2005

Barrichello himself became a veteran of the sport during his time in F1, a time in which he amassed 68 podium finishes, 14 pole positions and 11 race wins, the last victory coming for Brawn GP at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. As the 2011 season finished, it was unclear whether he would be retained for the following season by Williams, who he had driven for since 2010. Decision day came on January 17th in 2012 when the team announced his fellow countryman Bruno Senna would replace Rubens and so Rubens left for IndyCar. Barrichello’s last word went towards giving hope to his fans that he still has a desire to compete and he believes there is a chance that one day, he will compete in Formula 1 again.

“I drive because I love racing. My heart bleeds that I cannot be there. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that I can drive [in IndyCar]; I do not see myself as a victim.

“I think there is still a way back, I’m not using IndyCar as a last resort.”

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