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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 September, 2004, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Gamble paid off - Barrichello
Rubens Barrichello celebrates his triumph in Italy
Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello admitted he was relieved after his race strategy earned him his first victory of the season at the Italian Grand Prix.

The 32-year-old had started with wet tyres on a drying circuit at Monza and was the only driver to pit three times.

"It was a difficult decision," said Barrichello. "In the middle of the race I thought everything was lost and I had taken a gamble.

"That is why I am just so relieved and so delighted to win."

The Brazilian was chasing his first race victory since Japan at the end of last season and the eighth of his career.

Barrichello was determined to steal some glory in the dominant Ferrari for himself having watched team-mate Michael Schumacher storm to 12 wins and his seventh world crown.

But he had to work to weave his way through a tight field and keep the fast-finishing German at bay.

I had some interesting battles out there
Michael Schumacher
"My car became faster and faster as the race went on," said Barrichello.

"I was telling myself 'just push the throttle down and go as fast as you can'. It was a phenomenal feeling."

Schumacher started from third place on the grid but had to recover from last spot after a spin on lap one.

The 35-year-old also relied on his considerable pace to claw back his position before coming home just 1.3 seconds behind Barrichello.

"It's the most terrible moment when you spin and you sit there," said Schumacher.

"I had to let everybody through and wait to avoid the accident.

"I had some interesting battles. If you work through from last position and finish second it's hard to believe.

"I thought at one stage there was no way we were going to win the race."


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