Barrichello's Brazilian agony continues

Rubens Barrichello was unlucky yet again in his home circuit.-Pic. AFP

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello retired from his home Formula One Grand Prix for the ninth year in a row just as he seemed destined to end his agonising run of misfortune.

The Ferrari driver, starting on pole behind the safety car, had looked set to fulfil a boyhood dream at Interlagos when he took the lead in a rain-hit race from the McLaren of Briton David Coulthard after 45 laps.

The crowd's joy was short-lived as Barrichello slowed two laps later and pulled over on to the infield, his dreams shattered for another year.

The team said his car had a fuel feed problem.

"I am very disappointed, I have no other words for it. I did everything I could but it's not the first time that the car stops when we are in the lead," said Barrichello.

"I didn't deserve this. But now we have to go on realistically and with self-belief because my driving is not the problem." "All I can say is that I did my very best.

"I am not a tennis player or a golfer, who relies on himself. I have to rely on other things as well, which today were not with me." "The beginning of the race, when the track was at its wettest, was difficult as the car had a relatively low downforce set-up. I concentrated on staying calm, waiting for the right moment to attack.

"Once in the lead I immediately pulled out a gap but then I was forced to stop with a fuel feed problem. It was very frustrating as I was sure I could win." Brazilian hopes had been high for a home win after Barrichello's qualifying exploits made him the first local driver to start on pole since Ayrton Senna.

Brazilian drivers won their home Grand Prix in 1973, 1983 and 1993 but none have even scored a point at home since three-time champion Senna died in 1994.