|First race||South African Grand Prix||Kyalami||March 14, 1993||Race results|
|Last race||Brazilian Grand Prix||Interlagos||November 27, 2011||Race results|
The third highest points scorer in F1 history, Rubens Barrichello completed his 19th season on the F1 grid in 2011, but it appears to have been his last. After a very solid season in 2010, Williams retained him for another year so that it could continue to call on his unmatchable experience in the sport, but a dismal year for the team left his future uncertain and in the end Bruno Senna replaced him.
Born within a stone's throw of the Interlagos track, Barrichello was brought up in a motor racing family, and was given his first kart at the age of six. In 1986 he was crowned South American karting champion, and just a year later he finished ninth in the world championships sponsored by Ayrton Senna.
In 1989, aged 16, Barrichello graduated from karts to Formula Ford, before moving to England to pursue his dream of becoming an F1 driver. He claims he used his father's driving licence to drive between races as he wasn't old enough to be on the roads in the UK. On the track he won the British Formula 3 championship in 1991, becoming the youngest racing driver to do so - a feat only beaten by Nelson Piquet Jnr in 2004.
Barrichello made his F1 debut with Jordan in 1993 and finished on the podium just 13 months later at the Pacific Grand Prix in Japan. He finished sixth in his second season, but it was marred by the death of his friend and mentor Senna at the San Marino Grand Prix and he too escaped a horrific accident in qualifying for the same race.
After three years at Jordan, Barrichello moved to Stewart Ford in 1997 where he scored three third-place finishes, enough to secure him a move to Ferrari in 2000. Then, after seven seasons in F1, Barrichello secured his first race victory at the German Grand Prix to the delight of the F1 paddock. However, for the majority of his Ferrari career he played second fiddle to Michael Schumacher and it soon became clear he would never win a title while racing as the German's team-mate.
In 2006, aged 33, Barrichello moved to Honda to try and emerge from Schumacher's shadow and make a name for himself elsewhere. But after a decent first year he endured the worst season of his career in 2007, failing to score a single point, but remarkably finishing all but two races. Another torrid season followed in 2008, although it was lightened up at the Turkish Grand Prix in May when Barrichello became the sport's most experienced driver, overtaking Riccardo Patrese's record of 257 F1 starts.
In 2009 the Honda team was rescued at the 11th hour by Barrichello's former Ferrari boss Ross Brawn. It became the first team to win the constructors' championship in its inaugural season and Barrichello's six podiums and two race victories helped him to third-place in the drivers' standings.
Despite his brilliant season, he was replaced by Nico Rosberg in 2010 and had to find a drive elsewhere. Frank Williams saw the value of his extensive experience and brought him on board to partner rookie Nico Hulkenberg. Once again he showed his class and picked up consistent points finishes in a car with very patchy performance.
2011 was less successful, however, as the car was unreliable and off the pace. Williams only managed five points all season - with Barrichello scoring four of them - and the team underwent an overhaul of technical staff during the year. With Pastor Maldonado being retained for a second season thanks to substantial backing from Venezuela, Williams took its time to announce a second driver. Eventually money seemed to play some part as Senna landed the drive, leaving Barrichello out in the cold with only HRT yet to completely finalise its line-up.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Undoubtedly one of the most consistent drivers of all time, Barrichello has over 60 podium finishes and 600 career points to his name. Forced to play second fiddle for much of his career, notably to Michael Schumacher at Ferrari and most recently Jenson Button at Brawn, he has emerged as a solid No.1 at Williams.
On his 123rd race, at the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, Rubens Barrichello won his first grand prix, after starting 18th on the grid. It was the first time the Brazilian national anthem had been played since Senna's final victory in Australian in 1993 and Barrichello was clearly overwhelmed.
Suffering a near-fatal collision in qualifying at the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994. Barrichello hit a kerb at 140mph and his car launched into the air, rolled several times and he was knocked unconscious. After waking in hospital with a number of injuries, Senna was by his bedside. Barrichello never saw his mentor again, as the three-time world champion died on the same track two days later. He considered quitting the sport for good.
"Michael [Schumacher] might have more skill than I had, but if you threw both of us into a jail with a tiger I might get out alive - I'm not sure about him." On former team-mate and rival Michael Schumacher.
"Whenever I get home after a race, we chat about what he thought of it. Once, after one of my toughest races, he asked me why I had gotten so angry at the podium if the podium is supposed to be a wonderful thing. After that comment, I promised him nothing would ever make me get angry when I got onto the podium again." On his son, Eduardo, born 2001.
Barrichello's nickname is Rubinho, or little Rubens, as his father and grandfather are both called Rubens. He also shares his birthday, May 23 with his father.