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Rubens Barrichello will make history this weekend by becoming the first driver in Formula 1 to hit his third century of Grand Prix starts. Having begun the adventure for Jordan in the 1993 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami, the Brazilian now returns to a circuit on which his first pole position arrived one year later.
Mastering the wet conditions in a topsy-turvy qualifying session at Spa 16 years ago, Barrichello qualified in front of Michael Schumacher’s Benetton and Damon Hill’s Williams; and it is Williams with whom the Paulista hits this significant milestone.
“Spa is a great racing circuit,” he said on Tuesday. “I took my first pole there and have won at Spa while racing in the lower categories, so I’m looking forward to it.
"It’s always a challenging track and I imagine it will be even more so now that we are carrying full tanks.
“It can be quite tricky in terms of car setup because it’s so long and you need to have a car fast enough to take on corners like La Source and Eau Rouge. It really all depends on the aero efficiency of the car as to what your lap time is. Drivers tend to go for quite different downforce levels at Spa, so there’s always opportunities to overtake.
“This race will be my 300th in Formula 1. I feel very privileged to have been in the sport for such a long time and it feels great to reach this milestone. I still think I am at the top of my game and plan to continue being competitive long past my 300th GP!”
Also on Tuesday:
New front and rear wings for Williams
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