Rubens Barrichello saluted the ''best season ever'' after finally breaking his 2004 duck with a superb victory in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza yesterday.

The Brazilian gave Ferrari's home fans the perfect result by winning from pole position with newly-crowned world champion Michael Schumacher close behind in second.

His first win if the season - his second in three years at Monza - gave Ferrari a hat-trick of wins on their home track and moved him closer to second place in the world championship.

That would complete Ferrari's dominance this season and Barrichello feels that success is well deserved reward for the team's determination to win.

He said: ''I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that this is the best season ever.

''It was lacking a win for me with the amount of victories Michael had and the way we won the constructors' championship.

''This is for the team, the way they behave - when we win races within half an hour we are in a meeting to find out how we can win the next one. Very big thanks to all the team and all the tifosi.

''It's been a very good weekend and I have just loved every moment. Whenever it is your day, it's your day.

''It's magic. I've had a few wins in my life and this is the first time I've won twice on the same track and it's just as magic as the first time.

''People say Formula One is boring. I don't think today was boring at all, for many reasons, mostly because of the wet track.''

Barrichello's victory was lapped up by the passionate home support and after earlier admitting that pressure hurt him in his early years at Ferrari, he hailed his emotional bond with those fans.

He added: ''It's just an incredible feeling because the Italians are hot-blooded just like the Brazilians so there is a very good feeling between us.''

Schumacher was delighted with second place, despite being beaten for just the third time in 15 races this season.

The German spun on lap one after contact with Jenson Button and revealed his frustration at being forced to watch nearly all his rivals stream by.

''Braking on the wet on dry tyres was like on ice.

"I was in a four-wheel slide, Jenson was going around me on the outside and I touched slightly on his sidepods and spun,'' he said. ''It was down to me.

''Being last - it's the most terrible moment when you spin and you sit there and wait while everyone goes by.

"I thought I could just keep going but one of the Renaults came towards me.''

The seven-time world champion conceded he had given up all hope of victory after his spin and Barrichello's early pit stop to change to dry tyres.

''If you work your way through from the last position and finish second it's hard to believe it,'' he said.

''We were so far back at one stage, for me there was no way we were going to win the race.

''Even when Rubens came out ahead of me after the last pit stops I came on the radio and said 'tell me who is leading the race'. I thought there must be someone in front of us.''

BAR driver Button had controlled the race for some time after benefiting from early problems for Barrichello, Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen but ran out of steam late on to finish a distant third.

That, combined with team-mate Takuma Sato's fourth place, put BAR ahead of Renault in the constructors' championship after a dismal day for the French team.

Juan Pablo Montoya could not convert his second place on the grid to a podium finish and took fifth for Williams while a solid race by David Coulthard netted sixth despite starting from the pitlane.

Antonio Pizzonia claimed two points for Williams with seventh while Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella rounded out the top eight.