OCTOBER 28, 1996
Barrichello confirmed by Stewart
AS we predicted two weeks ago (INSIDE F1, Week 42) Rubens Barrichello has been confirmed with a three-year contract at Stewart Grand Prix.
The 24-year-old Brazilian was released by Jordan-Peugeot after four seasons with the team. He will partner Dane JanÊMagnussen.
Barrichello is unusual in that he is not only young and still developing as a driver but he also has a great deal of F1 experience, having competed in 64 Grands Prix for Jordan. His talent was obvious in his early races with Jordan in 1993, notably in his third race in F1, the European Grand Prix at Donington where, in pouring rain, he outraced Alain Prost and ran second to his hero Ayrton Senna until his Hart engine failed a few laps from the finish.
At the end of 1993 his name was mentioned as a possible replacement for Senna at McLaren but he ended up back with Jordan in 1994. He was badly affected by a huge accident he had at Imola and by the death of Senna two days later. He was then overshadowed by Eddie Irvine for the rest of 1994 and much of 1995. This year he found that members of the Jordan team had lost faith in him and his confidence has flagged.
Jackie Stewart says that he has signed Barrichello because he was impressed by the Brazilian in 1991 when Rubens beat Stewart driver David Coulthard to the British Formula 3 title.