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Rubens Barrichello will never forget Ayrton Senna 05 Mar 2003

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Ferrari sprays himself with champagne in jubilation of his race win.
European Grand Prix, Rd9, Nurburgring, Germany., 23 June 2002

"Besides being a fellow countryman, he was my friend and my mentor. When I came into Formula One Ayrton was there to watch over me, and always had some friendly advice."

Barrichello was nearly another casualty of that terrible weekend at Imola in 1994, after crashing his Jordan very heavily at Variante Bassa on Friday. "The first person I saw when I woke up in the medical centre was Ayrton, standing by my bed. I didn't race that weekend and had gone back home to Cambridge and was watching the race on television when he crashed. I could not believe that he was gone.

"A couple of years ago at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, I drove Ayrton's McLaren MP4/6 Honda. It still had a scrutineering ticket tied to the gearlever from a past Grand Prix, and Ayrton's name down the side. It was a big honour for me, and I admit that while I sat in the car the emotions came very strongly. Driving Ayrton's car that day was a very special thing for me.

"Ayrton was a very special person, and even today I know that he is up there, watching over me."