Barrichello: Nov. 2009: 284 Race Starts and Finally World Champion?

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Barrichello: Nov. 2009: 284 Race Starts and Finally World Champion?
(Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

A little more than three weeks ago, Honda announced the sale of it's F1 team to Ross Brawn and, with that, a confirmed race seat for Jenson Button. Almost immediately, the new team (now called Brawn GP) announced that Jenson's teammate for the 2009 season would be the most experience man ever in F1, Rubens Barrichello.

With 267 race starts to his name, Rubens has become a record breaker in his own right, and with 17 races this season, he is set to extend that record even further. So what could he do with all this experience?

He certainly knows how to develop an F1 car from scratch, as he did with Schumacher at Ferrari for six years, and has stood upon the top step of the podium nine times as a race winner. So maybe he could step up from being one of the greatest F1 teammates to being a world champion.

Ross Brawn has designed a car that was immediately quick out of the box and has set blistering times in preseason testing.

Barrichello has said that he is extremely confident that the car will be running at the front this year, and Ross has said that the car still has much development to be done. So just how fast will this car be towards the tail-end of the season?

All this points to one obvious question: Which Brawn GP driver will be F1 champ this year?

Both Jenson and Rubens are equally as quick in the car, and both have perfected their race craft running at the back of the grid for two years. If none of the other teams can catch the Brawn car this year, it will simply be a two car, one team race for the championship, just like Williams in 1996.

Most people's money is on Jenson to come out on top this year, but what if Rubens does? What will this mean for F1?

The most experienced F1 driver wins the world championship, finally proving his critics wrong. Will other teams decide that experience is better than young talent? Will he stay on for another year to defend his title or finally retire at the top of his game?

So many questions that could actually be answered this year, and the very idea of this is enough to get every F1 excited about the 2009 season.

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