Having won back-to-back grands prix in Italy and Shanghai, Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello is confident his nine-year run of non-finishes at the Brazilian Grand Prix will finally end this weekend.

Having won back-to-back grands prix in Italy and Shanghai, Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello is confident his nine-year run of non-finishes at the Brazilian Grand Prix will finally end this weekend.


He has emerged from team-mate Michael Schumacher's shadow since the Belgian Grand Prix, where the German clinched his seventh world championship title, so now Barrichello is particularly motivated for Sunday's season-ending race at Interlagos - an event close to his heart.


"If I could win in Brazil, I would be happier than winning the whole championship," he said this week. Interlagos is the place where Barrichello, who grew up within earshot of the circuit, has always had the most support and least success.


No Brazilian has scored points at Interlagos since the country's three-time world champion, Ayrton Senna, died at Imola in May 1994.


"First of all, I don't believe in bad luck," Barrichello said. "I believe that so many things happened, human errors or other things... that cost me finishes."


Brazil puts massive pressure on local drivers. Senna, the last Brazilian to win there in 1993, is worshipped and Barrichello, to whom the late champion was a friend and mentor, carries the weight of expectation as the country's only race winner in the last decade. This time, despite all that has happened in the past, there is reason to believe that things could turn out differently.


"The car is very reliable, as we know, so that is one factor less," said the Brazilian. "Anything can happen in any of the races but with this being the last race, you have more reliability than the first. With the speed of the car we are going to Brazil with a good, realistic chance of winning."


But Barrichello's record tells a different story. The Brazilian, whose career started in 1993, has never been on the podium at Interlagos and his fourth place for Jordan in 1994 remains his sole scoring finish there in 11 starts.


In 1995 he was stopped by gearbox trouble. The following year he started on the front row but spun his Jordan while in fourth place. He was stranded on the grid in 1997 when his Stewart failed to start and the suspension on the team's spare car later failed.


In 1998 it was the gearbox again and in 1999 he led for 23 laps in the Stewart until the engine blew. He led again in 2000 for two laps before being stopped by a hydraulics failure.


He stalled on the warm-up lap in 2001 and the race did not last long, with the Brazilian shunting Ralf Schumacher off and ending up in the gravel on three wheels.


Hydraulics sidelined him in 2002 and last year, after starting on pole, he ran out of fuel while in the lead.


Brazil will have two other local drivers to cheer on: Toyota's Ricardo Zonta and Sauber's Felipe Massa. Massa has just one home appearance to his credit, in 2002 when he collided with Australian Mark Webber's Minardi. Zonta finished ninth in 2000 with BAR and did not start in 1999 after an accident in practice ruled him out of the following three races.


Since 1994, Enrique Bernoldi, Luciano Burti, Pedro Diniz, Tarso Marques, Cristiano da Matta, Roberto Moreno, Antonio Pizzonia and Ricardo Rosset have all tried and failed to score points in their country's grand prix. Is all that about to change?