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Barrichello open to F1 return

2012-04-05 08:08

RETURNING TO F1? IndyCar driver Rubens Barrichello may be happy at his current motorsport posting but says he'd return to Ferrari in a heartbeat should he be offered a race seat.


SAO PAULO, Brazil - Though now an IndyCar driver, Rubens Barrichello remains open to a return to Formula 1 and would drive again for Ferrari if the Italian team offered him a contract.

In fact Barrichello, who joined IndyCar in 2012 after failing to hold on to his seat in F1 after 19 years in the series, said he has to be prepared to talk to any top team that might ask him to return.

"I'm completely open (about it)," he emphasised. "It would be something to think about."


The 39-year-old was one of the names considered by Italian news media as a possible replacement to fellow Felipe Massa who's struggling with Ferrari in 2012. Barrichello said his past problems with Ferrari - where he was unhappy about playing second fiddle to Michael Schumacher - would not keep him from returning.

Barrichello joined KV Racing in March, 2012, after he lost his spot with Williams, ending a mostly successful 19-year career in F1. He had always said that his goal was to stay longer in the series and then retire but he jumped at the opportunity to race in IndyCar after his friend and now team mate Tony Kanaan invited him to a test session in the pre-season.

Barrichello said he was "very happy" but didn't hide the fact that he hasn't closed the door to F1: "In my first Twitter (post) after Williams called me I made it clear that I was sad and that my future was open. I think that's the way it has to be. Anything can happen. I'm not saying it will, but I have to be ready."

He said he talked to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone earlier in 2012 and that he had joked that he would keep an eye on a spot in the series for him. "He if I was really going to race in IndyCar and I told him 'Yeah, because you didn't find me a place in F1'. He said he would see what he could do about it."

Barrichello finished first in a recent poll conducted by Italian magazine Autosprint about who should replace Massa at Ferrari, beating Jarno Trulli and Sergio Perez, who was second to Massa's team mate Fernando Alonso in the 2012 Malaysian GPin March. "It was unexpected," he said. "It shows that I left something good there. It's not a problem of speed. Ferrari definitely adores Alonso because he is maybe the best out there right now, so Felipe has a tough problem."

He said Massa, a good friend, was likely going through a "lonely" moment at Ferrari.


Barrichello was twice runner-up to Ferrari team mate Schumacher in the F1 Drivers' championship and left the team complaining that he never had a chance to compete against the German driver in equal conditions.

"I want the fans to understand that I don't have any hard feelings," he said. "If (Ferrari) called me today to go drive for them I would. It is the best team I've driven for in terms of support, of creativity, but there were definitely some spicy episodes."

Barrichello said he would probably reveal some of these episodes in a book he is writing about his time in F1.

He made his IndyCar debut with 17th in St Petersburg, Florida, then improved to eighth in Alabama. He's 10th in the Drivers' standings.

"It's still all too new for me," he said. "It's going to take some time to adjust to everything."

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