The nicest touch of all came from Rubens Barrichello. The kid who’d grown up just a stone’s throw from Interlagos, who had been inspired by the sight of his great hero Ayrton Senna winning the Brazilian GP there, had just finished Sunday afternoon by failing to win either his home race or the world championship.
But that didn’t prevent the oldest driver on the grid from making the grand gesture to his Brawn team-mate, the newly crowned world champion Jenson Button. Over 200 regular passengers might have been frustrated when technical problems delayed Sunday night’s British Airways flight back to London, but Rubens stepped forward and offered the loan of his $35m Brazilian-built Embraer Legacy private jet to whisk Jenson back to the UK.
Nice bloke, Rubens, but not quite quick enough over a season to deprive Jenson of his title. OK, so you could say that Button only won that title by building up that crucial early season cushion with six wins in seven races. But by the same token you could say that Rubens only lost it by allowing Jenson to slip through his fingers during that early season sprint.