One year ago, the 33-year-old Brazilian punched in one of those superb victories that showed that on his day he could match his vaunted team-mate Michael Schumacher. This weekend he has zero chance of winning, but his eyes are already focused on the sun of Honda rising on his 2006 horizon.
With Michelin tyres and a better car than his new partner Jenson Button enjoyed this year, Barrichello knows he has a good shot at his first world championship just when some were beginning to write him off.
"Because Honda won so much in the past, I consider it's impossible that they won't win again," he says cheerfully. "And they don't want to do it one or two times, they want to do it for a good bunch of years so it's a good time to join them."
Barrichello's life at Ferrari has been overshadowed by Schumacher, though he has always done his best to react with dignity to a situation that was never going to be easy. Barrichello will head into another team where there is an established star, Britain's Jenson Button, whom Honda love. "Even though the team is built around Jenson, they haven't won yet so they need a plus and that, I hope, is me.