Rubens Barrichello promised yesterday that his Formula One title battle with Brawn team-mate Jenson Button will not turn nasty.
"There's that old saying that you can only win in Formula One if you're tough," said the 37-year-old Brazilian after beating the championship leading Briton in a Brawn one-two in Ferrari's backyard. "We're both nice guys so this is the end of it. I think the best thing in life is respect."
Barrichello's second win of the season trimmed Button's lead to 14 points with four races remaining. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is third overall, but a massive 26 points behind Button.
Button and Barrichello have been team-mates since 2006 and the Englishman acknowledges he faces a tough battle to stay ahead.
"When we go on the circuit we're obviously fierce rivals. We're not going to give up until the end. I've obviously got the advantage of 14 points, it's got smaller at the last couple of races but Rubens is a very tough rival."
Before this season Barrichello had not won a race since he was at Ferrari in 2004 when he was in the shadow of Michael Schumacher. The Brazilian played the role of sidekick to the German, forced to play second fiddle and even hand over victory in Austria in 2002.
Brawn have given him the chance to shine again with assurances of equal treatment.
"I think that Michael might have had more skill than I had, but if you threw both of us into a jail with a tiger I might get out alive and I'm not so sure about him. That's life. You learn by your mistakes, you learn by everything," Barrichello said. "I really had fun at Ferrari. It made me a better driver as well, so everything that's happening now is because of all the times that I had in Formula One."Reuse content