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GP Week : Issue 136
inventing careers of almost 40 combined years. Both having raced for world champion teams (Renault for Jarno, Ferrari and Brawn for Rubens) and alongside world champion teammates (Fernando Alonso for Jarno, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher for Rubens), last year they accepted to start again from scratch. Barrichello pinpoints the reason: “I chose Williams because they had had a very good 2009 season and I was hoping to keep up at Brawn’s level. They didn’t manage to do it, they are still trying hard, now they changed the technical management and I hope this will help them to go forward.” In other words, to use his experience to make a small team big. It’s the same for Trulli. “For the future I hope we can improve a notch, which we weren’t able to achieve this year” – he answers when we ask him about his goals for next season – “because it would be nice to start battling for the points, which we weren’t allowed to do in the past two years. It’s true this is a new team, starting off from scratch, so we need to give it some time.” And then there is another element linking together Rubens and Jarno, almost a moral obligation: they have always fought for their colleagues’ safety. Jarno was for many years one of the most active directors of Grand Prix Drivers’ Association, Formula One’s driver trade union, while the Brazilian is its current chairman. This deserves a mention, because one of the reasons why this association was created in the first place was due to Rubens’ accident ahead of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, which threatened to end his career less than one year into it. Since then the improvements on safety side have been enormous. “ We made Formula One much safer and we want to make it even more so,” Barrichello explains. “As GPDA, we are very happy that FIA is taking more into it, to give us the best options possible in terms of safety. We just have to see it as it comes. All we are asking is to be more part of it. Some crazy regulation changes that we saw in the past, if we had the input of drivers, I think we wouldn’t even have come into those situations.” This year the regulation changes were a talking point again, with the re - introduction of KERS, the Drag Reduction System debut and above all the arrival of Pirelli as single tyre supplier: a package of changes which has caused sweeping changes to the F1 show. On these latest modifications, now that we have almost reached the end of the season, the drivers’ opinion is favourable. “All in all I’d say the outcome is positive,” Trulli comments. “Pirelli, in the end, have shown to be competitive and reliable and performed their job very well. DRS, together with the tyres, created more show and more overtakings, which was the goal everybody was hoping for.” But this hasn’t always been the case. If we ask them to look back to all the regulation changes they have witnessed during their long carreers, there are some they couldn’t stomach. Barrichello has no doubts. “ When they brought up the grooved tyres, for me it was the silliest idea on Earth. I didn’t race go-karts with grooved tyres, I didn’t race Formula 3 on those and so on. So it was like: I’m learning to get to Formula One and when I get there, what’s the point? It was not a very good F1 FEATURE >> 25