In today’s example of “It takes one to know one” we have Rubens Barrichello saying he feels badly about what happened to countryman Felipe Massa at the German Grand Prix.
Two different places offer up some of Ruben’s thinking. First, the official F1 site:
Q: Youâ€™ve seen it all, youâ€™ve done it all – is there anything in racing that could still surprise you?
RB: I think every time you get surprised. I tell you it was only last week that I saw something that was surprising. I thought with all the rules and the changes at the top management at Ferrari that they wouldnâ€™t do it any more after Austria. Last week that really was a big surprise!
Q: What happened at Hockenheim must have rung bells with you. Is Felipe Massa walking in your shoes now? And why is it that Ferrari think they have to lean towards one driver?
RB: You know, at the end of the day – as I just said – the big bosses that I was confronted by at Ferrari have all left. There were differences then and I thought that it would never happen again. And then all of a sudden I see that again. My first emotion was anger – just like everybody else. I didnâ€™t like what I saw! As for what makes Ferrari think that they have to act in this manner, I donâ€™t know. I can only say that I am happy with where I am. There is nothing like having no problems in a team! I understood and have learned a lot from the past and I am just happy right here right now.
That’s Rubens being a little more cautious and political in his answers. Here’s another angle from Autosport:
“All I can say is that I am very sorry to him, to see what he had to go through such a bad thing,” said Barrichello at the Hungaroring. “Nobody should be able to go through those feelings. Felipe is a friend and I wish he didn’t have to go through it.”
Speaking about the team orders situation, Barrichello said: “I just think we should do something to stop this thing, because at the end of the day it could get into a bit of a drama.
“When you are racing you want to beat the other one, but I wouldn’t feel nice and feel good [if a team said] if I give you this and then you win. I never did like it. That is why I changed teams and that is why I went on.
“It is in the hand on the top people to change that. You should be allowed to race. If you don’t win the championship by one point, so be it.
“And if you win the championship by one point because someone gave it to you, what is the point? If I had to be a bad guy and be world champion. I don’t care. I will teach my boys that, and I will be happy with that.”
So… is it a stretch to connect that last comment about being a “bad guy” to Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso?
Of course, that attitude is also part of what has kept Rubens from winning it all.
Is it possible, do you suppose, to be a good person and a great driver? (I can imagine some names that are going to come, which could get the emotions running, and so let me say I do not mean that question disrespectfully. I just wonder how much the two do run at cross purposes.)