Barrichello back on top in Legends Esports battle

Rubens Barrichello (BRA). 16.11.2019.
© XPB 

Formula 1's most experienced racer, former Ferrari and Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello, has shown that he still has what it takes to come out on top of a bruising battle out on the race track.

The 47-year-old Brazilian - a veteran of 322 Grand Prix races - was taking part in Saturday's Legends Trophy ESports competition hosted by The Race website, run on a simulated NOLA racetrack.

Other than Barrichello, the field boasted some familiar names from F1 including Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya, Emerson Fittipaldi, Jan Magnussen and Tonio Liuzzi.

The competition started with a five-lap event which saw everyone at the wheel of a 1970s-era Brabham F1 car, with Magnussen cruising to victory. While Montoya finished in the top six, former Brawn team mates Barrichello and Button were eighth and ninth respectively after Button lost places following a clash with Emanuel Pirro.

The result put Barrichello and Brawn in prime position for the second reverse grid which saw everyone driving Brabham BT44Bs on rFactor 2. However Button was immediately entangled in a messy multi-car first corner incident that saw him dropped down the order to 13th.

Meanwhile Barrichello managed to navigate the trouble and then passed Max Papis at the start of lap 2 to take the lead, which he held on to as he opened up a sizeable gap over the rest of the field. Papis meanwhile subsequently became the latest victim of Pirro, and dropped back to tenth after being spun by the Italian driver putting him just behind the recovering Button.

By the final lap, Barrichello's advantage had extended to almost three seconds and he was the clear winner of the race with Pirro picking up second ahead of WTCC star Tiago Monteiro and former IndyCar champ Dario Franchitti, who was fortunate to survive a penultimate-lap excursion across the grass.

Button's recovery topped out in fifth place. Fittipaldi was set to take sixth place, but had problems clashing with Adrian Fernandez on the final lap which dropped him to 15th by the chequered flag.

Fernandez survived the encounter to take sixth place ahead of David Braham, followed by Liuzzi, Montoya and race one winner Magnussen who had been another victim of the initial mêlée at the start of the race.

The evening also saw the latest round of the All-Star Cup with former F1 stars Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez finishing in seventh and 14th respectively.

The best of the 'real' world drivers was British/New Zealand BTCC racer Mike Epps who claimed sixth place at the line.

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Jenson Button, Esports, Rubens Barrichello