At the age of 50, celebrated on Monday (23), Rubens Barrichello continues to accelerate. No longer in Formula 1, the largest class in world motorsports, having spent nearly two decades and gained national and international fame, but in Stock Car, the main Brazilian road competition, in which he has competed for 11 years and accumulated 187 races and 20 victories, To be champion in 2014.
This season, Robinho is third with two victories over four stages (eight races). The last time, at Autodromo Velocittá, in Mogi Guaçu (SP), ten days ago, the pilot was on the podium twice, both in second place. At the pit, he was presented with a surprise party from Team Full Time, a team he defends in Stock, with the right to a special paint job on the car (in reference to his 50th birthday) and videos with testimonials that brought Paulistano to tears. eyes.
Robinho is also following the family closely to continue the legacy of the Barrichello surname. The eldest son, 20-year-old Eduardo (or Dodo, as he is called), competes in the European regional formula and even participated in a stock race with his father. The youngest of them, Fernando (better known as Fefo), aged 16, is part of the first grid of Formula 4 Brazil, a newly created, FIA-approved popular competition that is the go-to for youngsters coming out of karting.
Even the veteran was happy recently to enjoy the first podium of their youngest, in the second of the three races in the first weekend of Formula 4, which was held parallel to the stock stage at Velocita. Thanks to his overtaking on the last lap, Fefo took third place in the race. Robinho passionately celebrated in the hole and ran to the track to cuddle and celebrate the achievement with his son.
“I see his flair, even knowing his father’s entire path, a great pressure, and he was able to free himself, and do the things he should do by himself. I am so glad he liked this. We didn’t expect [o pódio]. For me, he was still fourth, and the camera didn’t show him overtaking. I even went to ask how to bypass [risos]Robinho celebrated, Brazil Agency.
The family legacy in Formula 4 is not limited to Robinho’s children. Felipe Barrichello Bartz, 16, the pilot’s nephew and nephew Renata, is also part of the Grid Introductory category. In the same race in which Fefo finished third, Felipe finished second, and achieved Barrichello’s double on the podium.
“I just met him [Rubinho] First as an uncle, then as a Formula 1 driver, so it turns out that coexistence is normal. He is a friend who is always there and always helps me. It’s good to have a family here [na Fórmula 4]. In addition to Fefo, there is Nick [Nicolas Giaffone, filho do piloto Felipe Giaffone]Felipe, who is also my cousin.
The dream of young people in the family, there is no way to be different, is to replace Barrichello’s title in Formula 1. The task is not simple, to the point that Brazil has not had a driver to start a season in this category since Felipe Massa, in 2017. For this reason, Robinho believes that Formula 4 , which closes a five-year gap with no transition from karting to single-style competitions in the country, could be key to the process.
“We had so many Brazilians in and out of Formula 1 that we didn’t realize it was all of them [fruto] From a strong principle base. We can get back to base. This is growth. The man gets out of here and can go to Europe [mais amadurecido]. If you get there, knock on a door and don’t walk well, sometimes you could end your career. Having a base here, in Brazil, the guy gets strong there. “It is the principle for us to have drivers in Formula 1 again,” said the veteran.
Four decades on the right track
From karting (where he was a five-time Brazilian champion) to Stoke, tracks have been a part of Robinho’s life for at least four decades. Four years later, Formula 1 is a reality. There were 323 races in the world’s largest motorsport class, and he was the third driver to start more races. He led the stat until 2020, when he was overtaken by Finn Kimi Raikkonen – last year, Spaniard Fernando Alonso took second place.
The first victory came in 2000, at the German Grand Prix, home of the driver whose longest-serving teammate Robinho: seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, at Ferrari. The Brazilian was on the podium 68 times in this category, 11 of them in the lead, and a runner-up in second place, in 2002 and 2004, both of which Schumacher won. However, the clearest chance for a title was in 2009, at the Brawn GP, when Paulista (who finished the year in third) won the races again after four seasons and fought until the penultimate race, but saw Britain’s Jenson Button, team partner, to take the best.
The Formula 1 journey ended in 2011, with Stock starting the following year. In addition to the title in 2014, Robinho was runner-up in 2016. He is the second oldest driver in the current grid, surpassed only by Toca Antoniazzi (51) and should reach the 200 race mark in the Brazilian class this season.