Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello produced a beautifully-measured drive from fifth place on the grid to win yesterday's Italian Grand Prix ahead of his Brawn GP teammate, Jenson Button.
The 37-year-old Latin American, driving with aplomb and assurance, made the most of his one-stop strategy and a fine start to come home 2.8 seconds ahead of the 29-year-old Englishman and endorse his challenge for the drivers' world championship.
Button, winner of six of the seven opening races of the season, remains on top with 80 points, but Barrichello is now second with 66 points, having cut his teammate's advantage from 16 to 14 points with just four races remaining.
Defending world champion Briton Lewis Hamilton, who started from pole, looked certain to come home third for McLaren Mercedes but crashed heavily at the Curva di Lesmo on the final lap and failed to finish.
This left Finn Kimi Raikkonen to take the third podium place for Ferrari ahead of German Adrian Sutil of Force India, two-time champion Fernando Alonso and Finn Heikki Kovalainen in the second McLaren.
German Nick Heidfeld finished seventh for BMW Sauber and compatriot Sebastian Vettel eighth for Red Bull, the young title challenger luckily grabbing his point after teammate Australian Mark Webber had crashed out following a collision with Pole Robert Kubica's BMW on the opening lap.
(AFP via China Daily September 14, 2009)