IndyCar - Barrichello Completes Successful Test With KV Racing Technology
Indianapolis, Feb. 2, 2012: Rubens Barrichello apparently was having so much fun driving the No. 5 KV Racing Technology car that he decided to stay an extra day.
The Formula One veteran was scheduled to leave Sebring International Raceway after testing Jan. 30-31 of the new Dallara DW12 chassis powered by Chevrolet's 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine. He canceled an appointment in Brazil to get in more laps Feb. 1 before turning over the No. 11 entry to longtime friend Tony Kanaan for the remainder of the session.
"It's been a really good morning," said Barrichello, who totaled 334 miles over the three days. "I was able to do a lot of laps in Tony's car and very happy to be in the No. 11. It's been my favorite number all my life. My feedback I think will be very beneficial to Tony and the whole team and I am satisfied with what we have achieved. I leave Sebring now with a good taste in my mouth."
Barrichello's smile at the completion of the first two days was an apt display of the sense of accomplishment. He had positive thoughts about the car, the atmosphere of the IZOD IndyCar Series and his abilities after a four-month layoff.
He left with an open invitation to compete in the series, and with options. Racing on ovals (there presently are four on the schedule, with the Indianapolis 500 on May 27 the first after four road/street course events) isn't a deal-breaker. An oft-repeated statement to that effect was made without consideration of ever competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"I never thought I could come over to this side because I thought I would race 25 years in Formula One and I should be over and couldn't come this way," said Barrichello, who has made 332 F1 starts. "I did say that. It came out of my mouth. It is a not a big issue. It is not a problem. There are so many different situations that I could run. I could run on the road tracks; I could run Indy. There are so many options available, and I'm thankful for the choices at age 39 and still going fast in the car. That's all I could pray for when I was a kid.
"(He and wife Silvana) I'm sure we'll be talking about it. I'm not putting pressure on it; I have to think it through. If you go purely from joy, it wouldn't be a problem. I still have so much passion for the speed and I'm quite young in my mind and I'm not up to my top level of fitness. I'm just getting better and better.
"I'm just a kid enjoying myself. I woke up a few times before the alarm and wondered if I was on time because I was excited to get behind the wheel."
Another option for Barrichello, of course, would be a return to Formula One with another team. He said the move to replace him in the second seat at Williams F1 was precipitated by team economics and not his driving.
"I have an open mind," said Barrichello, who broke into F1 with the Jordan team. "I've been living there for 19 years and have been a fan of the Indy series for a long period as well. I've been to Indy, Milwaukee, Sao Paulo and many tracks. I like what I saw always; it's a great atmosphere with great racing."
Team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven said "his feedback is amazing."
"Whatever happens for the future, all I said is I want Kevin, (co-owner) Jimmy (Vasser) and Tony to remember the day that I was here and say that Rubens tried it, made us go faster and let's try that at different circuits," Barrichello said. "I'm truly happy with the times I set and like what I saw."
Kanaan won't necessarily lobby his compatriot.
"Knowing Rubens, his timeline will be pretty short," said the 2004 IZOD IndyCar Series champion, who is entering his second year with the team. "You can tell by his face he's having a lot of fun."