By Marcus Dysch
July 29, 2009
Watching the closing stages of last Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, my mother pointed out an appendage on top of driver Rubens Barrichello’s helmet.
The 37-year-old Brazilian was, seemingly, wearing a Star of David. Right in shot of the car’s on-board camera.
I’ve been watching Formula One on and off for quite a few years. Long enough to have seen Barrichello racing around circuits all over the world. I couldn’t remember ever having seen the symbol on his helmet before. Nor had I any recollection of him having any Jewish heritage.
With the help of @houtbaygirl (on Twitter for those not in the know) I was directed to a forum for F1 fans. They too had spotted the Star of David, albeit eight weeks ago following the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.
Fans on the site claim Barrichello’s grandfather was an Italian Jew who moved to Brazil around the time of the Second World War.
It is suggested, therefore, that in memory of his zaida he has worn the emblem for most of his career.
It is also said, however, that Rubens is a devout Catholic.
Either way it gives some Jewish interest in a sport that as far as I know has little or any other yiddishe involvement.
Perhaps our new favourite driver also had a quiet word with Mr Ecclestone after the old man of F1 put his foot in it…