Sao Paulo: Rubens Barrichello was gracious in defeat after his Brazilian Grand Prix jinx returned to shatter his hopes of winning his home race and staying in the Formula One title chase.
Starting on pole position for the third time at a circuit that was within earshot of his boyhood home, the 37-year-old lost out to Red Bull`s race winner Mark Webber at the first pit stops and then suffered a late puncture.
He crossed the line in eighth place, with Brawn team mate Jenson Button finishing fifth to take the title with a race to spare.
In 2003, with Ferrari, Barrichello had run out of fuel while leading from pole for Ferrari and in 2004 he again started in the top slot and came home third. In 17 years, he has finished just six times at Interlagos.
"It was that Brazilian curse again, wasn`t it," said team boss Ross Brawn.
With the fans still chanting `Rubinho, Rubinho" long after the end of the race, Barrichello struggled to contain his emotions and put a brave face on the afternoon.
"Today we didn`t have the performance to win the race," he told reporters. "But I am still happy, I would have finished third and I was happy to fight Lewis (Hamilton). It was a great fight.”
"The big guy knows how much I fight for this so its been frustrating not to be able to win but I still consider myself a big winner and a big loser.”
"I know how to win and lose and this is a time of frustration but I am still a little bit happy for Jenson in a way," said Barrichello.
"It is what it is. At the end of the day we all know that if you deserve it, you get it. Destiny is there for you to catch."
Barrichello had started the day 14 points adrift of Button with two races remaining but he ended it out of contention with his team mate celebrating a first title.
"You need to be a big winner but you need to know how to lose as well," said Barrichello.
"I can leave Interlagos with my head up.”
"I think it has been a great championship and Jenson won because he deserved to win and I am happy for him, disappointed that it didn`t go my way."
Barrichello is out of contract with Brawn at the end of the season but has been talking to Williams and said he was 100 percent sure of being back to fight again next year.
He was also happy for Brawn, the first team to take the constructors` championship in their first full season.
"We will have a good night together because I am part of that. I feel the constructors` was part of me as well," he said.