Hondas Barrichello rejoices in podium return 06 Jul 2008
At 36 years-old Hondas Rubens Barrichello could have been forgiven for thinking his podium days were over. But on Sunday at Silverstone that is exactly where he found himself after a stunning drive to third in the British Grand Prix.
Starting 16th on the grid, the Brazilian, who last took a podium at the 2005 United States Grand Prix, hadnt held much hope of a strong result. But a clever strategy switch saw him take on extreme wet-weather tyres as the rain worsened at mid distance and whilst his competitors struggled on their standard wets, Barrichello took advantage. Had it not been for a refuelling rig problem at his second stop, he may even have taken second place.
"It's a great feeling to be back on the podium today after such an exciting race where the weather conditions really helped us to get the best out of the car, said Barrichello. The most important decision of the race for us was switching to the extreme wet tyre when the heavy rain started to fall at half distance.
I had a real moment at Club, going off at high speed and almost hitting the wall, and that made me realise that we needed to make a quick decision. After fitting the extreme wets, I was able to overtake the cars in front easily which was a great feeling. Making such a crucial decision at a key time comes from experience and from the team having the confidence in me to make the call.
Although Jenson Button fared less well in the second RA108, eventually finishing his race in the gravel trap, Honda were in a celebratory mood, with Barrichellos result ending the Japanese teams own podium drought.
We were aware that rain was forecast for today, and we had compromised our qualifying settings yesterday to be better prepared for the wet conditions, a decision which fully paid off in the race," explained team principal Ross Brawn.
"Scoring our first podium of the season is a huge boost for the morale of the entire team, everyone here at the track today and all the people who work so hard back at the factory. It is doubly rewarding to have achieved this result at our home race, so close to both of our UK facilities at Brackley and Bracknell.
Barrichellos well-deserved six points means he is now up to tenth in the drivers standings. Honda, meanwhile, have consolidated their eighth place in the constructors table on 14 points, just one point short of Renault and only two behind Williams.