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"I've nothing to prove" - Barrichello

RUBENS BARRICHELLO has kicked off the round of Ferrari press conferences during the traditional Marlboro week at Madonna di Campiglio in the Italian Dolomites by announcing that he is ready to give battle in 2001.

"Hockenheim taught me a lot", declared Barrichello. "I started 18th and won. It must be a message. In 2001 I want to work without creating any expectations.

"At the start of last year I only thought about beating Michael Schumacher, but this created nervousness and tension within the team. Now I don't have to demonstrate anything.

"I have more experience but I don't think that my second year in Ferrari will be decisive for my future at Maranello," continued the Brazilian.

Barrichello, who has carried out the bulk of Ferrari's winter testing as Michael Schumacher recovers from the operation to remove a pin in his leg, added that he expects a few surprises from the new season.

"Next season will begin under the sign of McLaren and Ferrari, but I think there will be a few surprises, such as for example Williams," he added. "However, Mika Hakkinen will still be our number one rival."

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