Rubens Barrichello claims his former Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher should actually be just a six-time world champion.
The pair were teammates at Ferrari between 2000 and 2005, during which time German Schumacher won five consecutive drivers’ titles.
However, during that time team boss Jean Todt also operated a clear ‘number 1’ driver policy for Schumacher, including highly controversial team orders.
Brazilian Barrichello, now a driver in the country’s Stock Car series, claims: “Of Schumacher’s seven titles, one should be mine.”
He said the most prominent example of when he had to move over for Schumacher was Austria in 2002, when he was leading the race on merit.
“I was not going to let him pass,” Barrichello told Bandeirantes television, “but I received information from Ferrari that made me think.
“So I took my foot off the gas,” the 42-year-old recalled.
Barrichello, whose more than 320 grand prix appearances makes him the longest-serving F1 driver of all time, has often been criticised in his native Brazil for being “slow” compared to teammates like Schumacher.
“I don’t care,” he insisted, “but when they speak about my family, that bothers me.”
Today, he is the reigning champion of Stock Car Brasil.
“I’m doing what I like,” said Barrichello, “and having the pleasure of showing Brazil that I am a good driver.” (GMM)