Rubens Barrichello celebrated his 257th Grand Prix in Turkey, establishing a new record for the greatest number of starts.
Riccardo Patrese, who established the previous record when he competed in his last race at Adelaide in 1993 (which was also Barrichello’s 16th start) was on hand to join in the celebrations. Patrese is now working as a commentator for Italian TV.
There had been considerable debate about exactly when Barrichello would set a new mark, due to inconsistencies in how starts are tallied. After discussing the matter with Honda’s PR department the Brazilian decided to include three ‘suspect’ races in his tally, namely the 1998 Belgian GP when he failed to take the restart after a crash, and the Spanish and French GPs of 2002, when in both cases his car failed to leave the grid to start the formation lap.
Many historians feel that none of those races should technically count, but it’s worth noting that Patrese’s total of 256 includes Belgium 1981, when he too failed to take a restart after a crash on the grid.
On track Barrichello had a low-key weekend in Turkey, outqualifying his team-mate Jenson Button in 12th, but finishing out of the points in 14th place.