MONZA: Rubens Barrichello made clear today that he will push his Brawn GP team-mate championship leader Briton Jenson Button all the way to the wire in this year's title race after winning the Italian GP.
The 37-year-old Brazilian, who produced a beautifully measured drive from fifth on the grid to grab his second win of the season, said he was looking forward with relish to a close sporting tussle with his team-mate in the closing four races. Barrichello's 11th victory in 284-race career was one of his happiest as he came home 2.8 seconds ahead of Button to turn the title race into an almost-certain fight for glory between just the two of them.
Button, winner of six of the seven opening races of the season, remains on top with 80 points, but Barrichello is now second with 66 points, having cut his team-mate's advantage from 16 to 14 points with just four races remaining. The Brawn pair look certain to deliver the constructors championship to their team-chief Ross Brawn.
Defending world champion Briton Lewis Hamilton looked certain to come home third for McLaren Mercedes, but crashed heavily on the final lap and failed to finish. This left local hero Finn Kimi Raikkonen to take the third podium place for Ferrari ahead of German Adrian Sutil of Force India, two times champion Fernando Alonso, who was fifth for Renault, and Finn Heikki Kovalainen in the second McLaren.
German Nick Heidfeld finished seventh for BMW Sauber and compatriot Sebastian Vettel eighth for Red Bull, the young title challenger luckily grabbing his point after team-mate Mark Webber had crashed out following a collision with Pole Robert Kubica's BMW.