Rubens Barrichello was on course for a home victory when his F-2002 broke down and to make things worse for Ferrari, the team failed to score points for the first time since 1999.

Rubens Barrichello was on course for a home victory when his F-2002 broke down and to make things worse for Ferrari, the team failed to score points for the first time since 1999.

Barrichello’s hero, the late Ayrton Senna, won at Interlagos in 1993. And after qualifying in pole position, Barrichello looked set to break his run of eight non-finishes and become in the first Brazilian to win a home grand prix in ten years. He took the lead of the race in the closing stages, but on lap 43 his car had a fuel problem and ground to a halt.

“Today's race was very frustrating, but that's racing. We had the quickest car on the track and what could have ended as a one-two finish turned into a race that left us nothing at all,” Ferrari’s sporting director Jean Todt said.

Brazil 2003 will go down in the record books as not only the first time since the European Grand Prix of 1999 that the team failed to score any points, but the first race since Belgium in 1998 that both cars retired from the race.

“I am very disappointed for the drivers, for the team and for Bridgestone, who did an excellent job,” said Todt. “I hope that the return to Europe, in front of our fans at Imola, will signal the end to what has been a difficult run of grands prix for us.”

A crestfallen Barrichello had little more to add: All I can say is that I did my very best.” I concentrated on staying calm and waiting for the right moment to attack. Once in the lead I immediately pulled out a gap, but then I was forced to stop with a fuel feed problem. It was very frustrating as I'm sure I could win…here in front of my fans.”

Team-mate Michael Schumacher, who had spun out of the race, was philosophical about his result: “As for my accident, I was aquaplaning and in that situation you are just a passenger in the car. The gap to the championship leader is not so big, there are still 13 races, so there is no need to be concerned about it.”