Emotional Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello claimed his 10th Formula One victory on Sunday when he drove his Brawn GP car through a perfectly-judged race in searing heat to win the European Grand Prix.
It was his first win this season and his first triumph in five years since the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix at Shangai for Ferrari. A popular victory, it was greeted with delight and also with tears in the paddock.
Barrichello's win lifted him from fourth to second in the drivers' championship standings. Briton Jenson Button, his Brawn team-mate, now leads with 72 points ahead of the Brazilian on 54 with Australian Mark Webber third on 51.5.
The 37-year-old driver from Sao Paulo delivered one of his finest races of modern times as he came home ahead of defending drivers champion Briton Lewis Hamilton in a McLaren and Finn Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari under a high sun and blue skies over the Mediterranean street circuit in eastern Spain.
“This has been a fantastic weekend for me and one that I'll never forget,” said Barrichello. “But after five years, it's so tough! They told me to push and push. They said push, but things are going through my mind and you can't help it. You just want to do it for yourself and your country and your family and a lot more, but the car was just perfect!”
Hamilton had started from pole but his hopes of victory were dashed by a muddled second pit-stop when the McLaren team had not prepared his tyres. McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh defended the pit crew, saying Hamilton's car was not fast enough to win the race.