Thursday, July 17, 2008

Barrichelo relishing German return

Back in 2000 Barrichello finally broke his victory duck, taking the chequered flag in the German Grand Prix at a time when he was with Ferrari.

Now with Honda, the odds on a triumph at the track on this occasion are exceptionally long, in particular if it is hot and dry.

But the forecast is for an unsettled weekend, and after his recent wet-weather heroics at the British Grand Prix, he could yet pull another surprise.

"It was fantastic to wake up on Monday after Silverstone and see the trophy," exclaimed Barrichello, who finished in the top three for the first time in three years.

"To step onto the podium again was an unexpected but deserved outcome to our British Grand Prix weekend and I was so pleased to have achieved the result for the team.

"However, we have to keep our focus and continue to improve the performance of the car as we are fully aware that our result at Silverstone was assisted by the wet conditions.

"With changeable weather this weekend, it can make for an exciting race and overtaking is possible, particularly under heavy braking."

Reflecting on his memories of his debut success, he added:"My first victory in Formula One came at Hockenheim back in 2000, so this circuit is very special to me.

"The layout changes mean it is a different venue now from the track that I used to enjoy so much, however, it's still a good circuit."

Honda boss Ross Brawn has conceded Barrichello's performance, and the team's first podium this season was "a big morale boost."

But he maintains realism has not been lost as he said: "Silverstone gave us the opportunity to combine driver experience and team performance to achieve a very well deserved podium finish.

"The team worked extremely well throughout the race to take advantage of the opportunities which opened up, aided by an excellent drive and outstanding tyre feedback from Rubens.

"Our first podium of the season was, of course, a big morale boost, however, it would be unrealistic to expect a repeat of this result in dry track conditions.

"But with changeable weather predicted for the weekend, as Rubens has mentioned, it could be an interesting race.

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