Barrichello began his Formula One career with the Jordan team, where he stayed
for four years with some success. His move to Stewart in 1997 allowed him to re-build
his confidence, which had taken a battering after two and a half years of partnering
Eddie Irvine at Jordan, and produced his second most successful season to date
- 1999 when he managed to garner 21 championship points and win the drive at Ferrari.
Barrichello's new role at Ferrari was greeted with great joy by his legions of Brazilian fans and he admitted to shedding a few tears on seeing his name on the red car. He appeared to settle in quickly with the team, after a few teething problems, and any doubts as to his popularity with the outfit were soon dispelled in Germany, where he took his maiden Formula1 win.
A stunning drive from 18th on the grid, following Michael Schumacher's expulsion from the race after a first-corner collision, was greeted with great joy in the Ferrari garage, and Barrichello immediately dedicated it to his great friend, the late Ayrton Senna. It also confirmed him as one of the best Formula1 drivers in wet conditions, following his pole-winning performance at a drenched British GP qualifying session earlier in the year.
2001, however, was not so good to him. He was asked to move out the way for Schumacher at the Austrian GP in May, and was disheartened at the request so early on in the season when the championship was not at stake. The Brazilian proved himself to be a solid driver, and often appeared on the podium, but was unable to take a second win, and was very much the bridesmaid to his German partner.
Once again he is dogged by rumours that he is to be replaced when his contract runs out at the end of this year (2002). However, it is said that he will not be asked to play second fiddle to Schumacher, unless absolutely necessary, and so should have a chance to showcase his talent.