JULY 30, 2000
Barrichello dedicates victory to mentor Senna
RUBENS BARRICHELLO dedicated his first grand prix victory to his mentor Ayrton Senna after driving a remarkable race in the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
Brazilian Barrichello, who openly cried on the podium, hailed the part three-times world champion Senna had to play in his career and pledged the victory to his compatriot and friend.
"This is such a fantastic moment for me, I can hardly believe it," Barrichello said. "The last lap was the longest of my life but I got there.
"Of course, I dedicate this win to Ayrton. He was the man at the top for me and I followed him so much and he did so much for me. I know that a lot of people have put me in his place."
Barrichello, who amazingly started the race from 18th on the grid, made up for his disastrous day in qualifying as his bravery in staying on slick tires in the wet conditions was rewarded with his maiden victory after eight years of Formula One racing.
"Ross (Brawn) told me Mika was coming in so I said I would stay out for another lap," he added. "After that lap Ross told me to keep going because I would win if I kept the pace I had.
"It was great because the slicks were doing really well in the straights and the three chicanes. It was a bit worrying because I couldn't see the track very well through the rain.
"The team give me the perfect car and it worked well. We were lucky that there was an accident on the first lap and the strategy worked out."
Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn praised Barrichello's decision to stay out on slick tires and admitted being touched by the Brazilian's display in the tricky conditions.
"Rubens was unbelievable and he has come of age today," Brawn said. "It was his decision to stay out on dry tires and it was ultimately a perfect decision.
"In those conditions it's always the drivers' decision as to what tires to use as the team can't judge the track. I didn't argue because it was worth a chance and it worked. We all feel quite emotional for him."