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Rubens Barrichello and the promise he once made to his wife
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Posted By: James Allen  |  31 Jan 2012   |  6:25 pm GMT  |  91 comments

Rubens Barrichello drove an IndyCar this week in a specially arranged test session at Sebring, Florida. The Brazilian, who lost his seat for this season at Williams to Bruno Senna, completed 94 laps and was on the pace of the KV Racing Team’s lead driver Tony Kanaan.

“I’m truly happy and I like what I saw,” said 39 year old Barrichello. “I just need to see what comes up. I need to talk to my family and to Jimmy (Vasser, KV team owner).

Barrichello certainly does need to speak to his wife, Silvana. Because he made her a promise, that he would not race on the oval at Indianapolis, which he would find it hard to keep if he were to accept a drive in the Indycar series.

“I’d love to race at Indy,” he told JA on F1 last June, “But it’s the one thing my wife asked me not to do, because she thinks it’s dangerous. It’s the only thing she’s asked me not to do.”

The ironies and echoes of the past are are everywhere in this story; Barrichello took part in 322 Grands Prix – exactly double the number his idol Ayrton Senna started – making him by far the most experienced driver in the history of F1, but his passion for racing is still very strong.

Co-incidentally Ayrton Senna also tested an IndyCar, 22 years ago, at the end of a 1992 season in which his McLaren had been pulverised by the active suspension Williams of Nigel Mansell. Senna had no intention of moving to IndyCar at the time, but he wanted to send a strong signal to McLaren, to their sponsors Marlboro and to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone that the technical playing field needed levelling in F1 or he might seek pastures new. (Check out the video of the test at the bottom of this post)

In contrast, Barrichello’s F1 career looks to have run its course and it seems now he must look for pastures new. Hence the test.

With Bruno Senna taking his seat at Williams, Barrichello finds himself without a drive for the first time in his F1 career, stretching back to 1993.

The quote above about promises to his wife comes from a fascinating question and answer session I did with Barrichello in front of a US and Canadian audience in Montreal last year and he gave some great answers looking back over his career.

In his long F1 career Barrichello raced against 12 of the 32 drivers who have won the F1 world title, without ever being the champion himself (he was runner-up in 2002 and 2004)

On how much of his long career he can remember:
“Sometimes between planes I get to write a bit of my book, I don’t know if it will ever come out but it’s a pleasure to write my stories there. I remember most of my races vividly, even kart races from the 1980s.”


“The Brawn year (2009) was incredible. I was four months without a job. I was desperate to drive and all Ross Brawn told me was ‘Keep fit, I’ll call you when I know.’

“It was one of the best days of my life when I drove the car for the first time and realised it was a good car. The win at Monza was very special, to be in white overalls and all the Ferrari fans were down below me and they clearly hadn’t forgotten me.”

On the pressure of driving for Ferrari
“To drive for Ferrari is just great. The first day to see my name on the side of the car was just great. When I was a kid I dreamed of it. But when you start driving you have to forget you are in a red car with a horse on it. Mentally you got to do that. Because the pressure could get too much. At Ferrari you learn to live with the pressure and if you want to conquer in F1 it you have to push on because there is so much pressure from the press, the country and so on.

“You cannot say everything that you would have liked to. So you have to focus on why you are driving because there is so much pressure.”


You have two sons. To me the question is not, “Will your kids race?” But rather “Do your kids feel a great pressure to race?”
“Eduardo (older boy) doesn’t want the pressure. I don’t think he’ll be a racing driver. I would love him to race, but he doesn’t like pressure. He always asks me why I have to exercise so much or travel or whatever.

“He loves driving. I take him karting and it’s fantastic. But it showed me something; once I said to him, ‘Can you take that corner flat, throttle down?’ He said to me,’Do you want me to, Daddy?’ So I said, ‘Yes,” but then I thought it could be dangerous, but anyway I said, ‘Yes.’

“So he went out and he took the corner flat, but then the next lap he lifted. If that had been me at his age I’d have been mad flat, so it showed me there that it was what I wanted, not what he wanted.

“So I just want him to do what he wants.

“The younger one is just nuts. He takes everything flat!”

On his massive Twitter following:
“Twitter is a good thing to interact. For people who love F1 its great because if they cannot be there, it’s like they are there.”

On his future after F1:
“Racing is in my blood. The months when we are off over winter eventually you start driving too fast on the road. So I need something to drive. I think eventually I will do stock cars in Brazil. It’s a great series. Maybe I’ll be at home a bit more and still racing.”

On staying fit at approaching 40:
“I run six days a week. Between 6kms and 16kms. I also do a training programme where I go fast for a few seconds then slow then fast, simulating the corners on a race track. The heartbeat in a racing car is between 140 and 180 beats per minute. It goes down on the straights. My resting heart beat is 55.”

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  1. Sebee says:

    There used to be a day when US open wheel was very evenly matched with F1. Now it’s no contest.

    The good news for Rubens, IndyCar has no where to go but up.

    The good news for Rubens fans – he’ll be a lot more accessible at events.

    1. peru-kowalsky says:

      agree. I remember 1993 at long beach, it was amayzing. So many penskes, and newmans, so much talent. At some very exciting race tracks.

      1. Rob says:

        1993?

        Mansell wins as a rookie from almost 50 year old Fittapaldi and a fat Canadian in 3rd.

        Or

        Senna’s finest season, In an uncompetitive car (thrashing Indycar star Andretti) Donington. Prost in FW15C – last of the active cars. Rise of Schumacher, his first win.

        It’s not even really a fair fight.

      2. Liam in Sydney says:

        Hardly.

        Indycar/Champcar during the 90′s was a fantastic series and every bit as enjoyable as F1. Great drivers, great personalities, brilliant driving (Zanardi, Montoya, et al), lots of manufacturers, great tracks (Gold Coast, Road America).

        Such a shame the money filtered away from the sport. In those days there was just so much great motor racing going on (F1, Champcars, 500cc GP, etc) it was hard to get enough time to watch it all.

        Ahhhhh, the memories! :)

      3. adi says:

        schumachers first win was at spa in 1992. His second came at estoril in 1993

      4. KGBVD says:

        We still love that fat Canadian…

        ChampCar was great (esp in the Forsythe glory days with Villeneuve, Moore, etc.), but American race fans love ovals and pomp and ceremony. So it was only a matter of time before Indycar with the 500 took too the fore.

        My main issues with the sport recently have been the ancient cars and the Mickey Mouse rules (two line restarts? As if.) At least the chassis will be new in 2012 and there will be new Lotus engines.

    2. Rob says:

      “There used to be a day when US open wheel was very evenly matched with F1.”

      No not really…..

      1. Sebee says:

        You’re right, not really, exactly. 500 was an F1 event until 60s. Mansell was here mid 90s. CART was about 6-7s per lap slower at Montreal than F1 when both were running there – and CART was probably on 2.5% of top F1 team’s budget. If those geniuses didn’t screw it up with the CART split who knows where it would have been.

        And to be honest, strong open wheel culture in US with IndyCar could only be a good thing for F1 – interest wise that is. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rubens’ presence results in more exposure for F1 as he will likely be asked about it and talk about F1 often to the media while here. Rubens may not have a WDC, but considering his following and fans – likely people’s champion.

      2. Sebee says:

        Oh, and that speed differential between CART and F1 at Montreal was attributed mainly to the brakes if I recall correctly. CART wasn’t allowed to use fancy exotic brake materials.

      3. Martin says:

        It isn’t the brake materials that made the differnce, but the weight of the cars. Because the Indy cars are about 200 kg heavier with similar downforce to F1 cars, the net result is F1 cars can generate greater cornering and braking forces. As Montreal has lots of long straights and tight and short corners, downforce is less of an influence on cornering speeds.

        Carbon-carbon (F1) or carbon composite (road) brakes do not reduce stopping distances. The braking performance is basically limited by the tyres – the drivrs are strong enough to lock up the brakes from quite high speed. The friction between the brake surface and the pad is not the benefit with carbon brakes. It is to do with heat resistance. The carbon brakes can withstand greater heat levels, so the discs can be smaller and a lot lighter without warping. The reduces the unsprung mass and the interia in the wheel, which helps turning and acceleration (and slightly the braking force required).

        When Damon Hill was having braking issues in 1995 (such as not always having Schumacher to stop him…) he tried steel brakes to see if he could get a better pedal feel. There was no significant difference lap time when he tried it, but it didn’t help the feel issue either.

        Cheers,

        Martin

      4. peru.kowalsky says:

        the thing is that when cart was at his best, f1 was as well, so is hard to be better at that point, but i am telling you that it was very much like f1. Mansell, fittipaldi, mario andretti, tracy, unser, michael andretti, etc Real talent, and very fast and beautiful cars.

      5. Liam in Sydney says:

        It’s not really correct to start comparing Champcars and F1. Although they are both top level open seaters, they have their own specific rules that mean you are comparing apples with oranges. Engine size and configuration, grooved tyres, wing rules, fuel rules. So many rules differentiate the categories. Both were great in their own way.

      6. Nico says:

        In those days cart was a man’s series and showed brilliant displays of racing, but let’s not kid ourselves here, it was very much a second tier to F1 in every way, drivers, teams, machinery, exposure, status.

    3. David Young says:

      Yes. Even though I’ve always held F1 to be the pinnacle of auto racing tech wise, in the 90′s I preferred IndyCar/Champ Car. It was just a notch below F1. When there were 4 chassis (Lola, Reynard, Penske, Eagle) and engines (Ilmor, Cosworth, Honda, Toyota), and you had talent the likes of the Andrettis’, Unsers, Fittapaldi, Mears, Villeneuve, Montoya, Vasser . . . Road courses, street courses, super speedways, short ovals . . . Mansell did jump from F1 and won the championship his rookie year, but he was pretty ordinary in his second. Villeneuve set the F1 world ablaze his first 2 years, and Montoya also turned some heads. The driver mattered more than the car in this series. Then Tony George ruined it.

      1. Liam in Sydney says:

        You missed Zanardi!! :)

      2. David Young says:

        Yes!!! I was thinking off the top of my head. I missed quite a few. Also Rahah. Thanks.

      3. Martin says:

        I think that is pretty accurate. I might be wrong, but I think in 1993, Newman-Haas had unique access to enhanced Cosworth XF engine, so he was really racing the Penskes that year.

        In the late 90s with a Reynard chassis and a good engineer you could be competitive. In F1, the last two years have been rare with 5 drivers in with a chance of winning.

      4. Sebee says:

        Martin,

        You are absolutely right about the car weight of CART vs. F1. CART spec was 25% heavier than F1 cars, and they were setting a time of only 5s slower at Montreal. F1 1:15 vs CART 1:20. That’s 6% slower while being 25% heavier. I’m really surprised to find this out.

      5. JC Agoglia says:

        Don’t forget few great drivers like De Ferran, Mark Blundell, the fat Canadian, Herta, etc… and Franchitti…

        Golden years, I enjoyed more CART than F1 racing then (I’m a F1 fan since 1971).

        Heavy cars, less downforce and tire grip, longer braking distances allowed some serious overtaking (a few of the Zanardi and Montoya moves come to my mind)

        Good old days…

      6. lecho says:

        Zanardi was one crazy overtaker with his moves on these tight tracks. It was sublime, I’d never seen a racer like him and I always wondered why he didn’t transit the skills to F1.

  2. Martin says:

    Maybe Rubens will just drive the road courses, dont they have about a 50/50 split between ovals and road courses ?

    1. Peter says:

      This year their are only 4 ovals on the calender the indy 500 included so he would only be missing 4 races.

      1. Martin says:

        Might give Will Power a chance to finally beat Dario Speedwagon :-)

        I find it odd that Franchitti was always much better on road and street courses in Champcar but in IRL it is the other way around.

        p.s. a different Martin btw.

      2. JC Agoglia says:

        +1

      3. Allan says:

        A little off-topic, but it is fascinating that the number of ovals has shrunk so much. When Tony George first formed the IRL, it was to be a very oval-centric series…

      4. Dizzy says:

        One reason for the lack of ovals is that most are owned by ISC (International Speedway Corporation) & there only intrested in Nascar.

        When indycar runs at an ISC track it gets no promotion, when nascar runs one its gets heavily promoted for months. end result, hardly anyone turns up for the indycar races because hardly anyone knows the race is on.

        The non-ISC ovals tend to be promoted fairly well & do draw a decent crowd.

    2. Tim says:

      Apparently Sebastian Bourdais only did the road courses last year, so it shouldn’t be a problem. The series would jump at the chance to have someone like Rubens in it.

    3. Sebee says:

      How can he miss a shot at the Indy 500? If he’s in IndyCar, he will at least give the 500 a shot.

      1. markdartj says:

        The IMS is not really even an oval. It is a road course with four 90 degree left hand corners, each one with different characteristics. The banking is minimal.

      2. Liam in Sydney says:

        Yes, but there is still high danger. That is the issue here (read: Weldon)

  3. Tay says:

    James,

    Are you in a position to encourage him to eventually publish what he’s been writing? With his experience, he’s the only one in a position to give comprehensive insight into racing life from the joy of karting to through to the life impact and politics of Formula 1. I feel it’s a bit of a shame many fans view the pinnacle of his career happened at Todt’s orders. There’s so much more to Rubens and it would be a privileged insight into racing if he shared his life with the fans.

    1. Werewolf says:

      I couldn’t agree more.

    2. Milton says:

      I would buy that book.

    3. Spyros says:

      Rubens is practically the last of the outspoken drivers, so of course I’d like to read what he has to say… more than any other driver’s musings, actually.

      On the other hand, it’s good to know that he doesn’t feel like he is done with racing… presumably, he’ll organize his writings when he feels there is nothing more to write about.

      [insert name of football star(s) with decidedly different approach to fame, HERE]

      I really hope he does well in the US. Perhaps his presence there, combined with two F1 races there as of 2013, will be good both to him and F1.

    4. zombie says:

      One swallow doesn’t make a summer they say.Rubens fans never seize to amaze me! His career peaked out in 2000,and since then the so called “outspoken” Rubens has been in the news for 3 reasons : a) His perennial complaints about his ill-treatment at Ferrari, with whom he ironically stayed on for 6 full years before realizing that he was short-changed. b) His complaints about Michael Schumacher’s driving despite being whipped around in the same car all 6 seasons. ( Austrian GP of 2002 doesn’t make up for 90 other races). c) His now infamous “blah blah blah” comments about Brawn when Button had the measure of Rubens in the same car.

      Fact is, had Rubens not spent 6 years at Ferrari, his career would’ve long been over by now. I rate him no higher than Fisi or Trulli..good drivers but not greats.I wish him the best of luck whereever he goes. If testing ever gets reintroduced in F1, his experience will probably come handy as a test driver to some team.

      1. JC Agoglia says:

        RB -> Way over Fisi, don’t forget what happened when Fisi switch to Ferrari from Force India…
        Trulli, quick qualifying but poor race craft skills, big dissapointment.

  4. Shirleen Riffe says:

    I of course cannot nor would I dare to speak for Silvana but I can understand her position on the US ovals. She has two sons with Rubens and she wants him to be around to see them grow up.
    I once read that Michael Schumacher was asked about racing Indy car and he said, “I have nothing to prove- it’s a step down and they are too dangerous”. I would hope Rubens has talked to Michael about this. He probably hasn’t, Rubens admits they are not friendly anymore, but I’m sure if asked Michael would probably tell him not to. Dan Weldon’s death at Las Vegas last year was said to have been caused by “the perfect storm.” Unfortunately they haven’t taken away any of the elements that went into making that storm. I think the world of Rubens Barrichello and wish him only happiness within his family and in his profession. I, personally, would rather see him in broadcasting than Indy car. Indy car is too dangerous and he has absolutely nothing to prove.

    1. Malcolm says:

      Totally agree….the question of the capabilities of some drivers, inches apart traveling at over 220 mph on ovals, has arisen after Weldon’s death, and something that Rubens should seriously consider.

      I hpoe that Rubens honors the commitment that he has made to his wife, because as Shirleen Riffe has said, he has nothing to prove.

      1. Kristian says:

        I don’t know if It’s still like this but Indianapolis and low banked tri-ovals required braking or slowing down for corners which superspeedways and high banked short courses designed for NASCAR didn’t. regardless of all of that there is a talent deficiency in US open wheel racing.

    2. Mike says:

      Actually they have changed a lot of things that went into the Vegas incident last year. Indycar has a completely new chassis that is much harder to drive on ovals so it should break up the packs of cars, the car is much safer as well. Also, the schedule includes no high banked NASCAR ovals like Vegas was.

      Sure, oval racing is still dangerous but a lot has changed in the last couple months.

      The atmosphere of Indycar is unlike anything like Formula 1 and is much more fan friendly and accessible. Maybe it will be much more to Rubens’ liking? Who knows.

      Auto racing is dangerous but that didn’t stop the likes of Mansell, Fittipaldi, and many others from making the step over.

    3. Tim Horton says:

      Well, I think by removing the track from the venue and changing the cars to a newer chassis which has covered rear wheels to prevent other cars riding over the top, they certainly have removed some elements from the perfect storm. That said, you can’t be complacent and think something just like that could happen in F1. From what I remember reading in the Dan Wheldon accident report, the impact to his head occurred at 160mph, well within F1 speeds, and lower than Kubica’s impact speed with the wall in Canada a few years ago. Now Im not sure about the amount of force F1 roll hoops are designed to take, but I wouldn’t bet on Indy cars having weaker roll hoops. Villeneuve and Ralf Schumacher had a crash in Melbourne in 2001, where JV’s car was cheese grated buy the fencing (and resulted in the unfortunate death of a marshal), but it could have been a lot worse for him if his car hand impacted top side towards the fence.

      1. Jeff says:

        A good reason why the majority of corners at F1 tracks have run off area and lots of kitty litter (or wide expanses of Tarmac). Also why I think Bernie is wrong to pursue so many new street race tracks instead of putting F1 on purpose built race tracks.

        F1 isn’t perfectly safe. No motorsport is. Many people forget that two racers died on that fateful weekend at Imola in 1994, and Rubens had a scary crash at the Varianta Bassa which could have easily kicked the death toll that weekend to three.

        F1 doesn’t pack the cars together lap after lap like Indycar does though, so on the whole, the risk of a multi-car wreck with vehicles launching fatally skywards into catch fencing is lower.

        Rubens has had a great career in F1, and as an engineer designing electronics for a supplier to Jordan back in 1993, I was privileged to witness the start of it. I wish he was racing in F1 this year, but I’d hate to see him take unnecessary risks and throw his life away on an Indycar oval.

        Have a long and happy retirement, Rubens, and enjoy watching your family grow up. You’ve got nothing to prove.

      2. Alex W says:

        You are correct I think we will see that the indy cars are much safer now, the problem with F1 cars isn’t so much car crashes, but aeroplane crashes, and it’s almost always caused by a car catapulting off the back wheel of another car…. This will cause the next driver fatality in F1 unless it is fixed, Webber 2010 was lucky the car didn’t slew over the fence into the stands…. and it will happen again…

    4. Adam Tate says:

      That Schumacher comment was from an interview Michael did for the U.S. television news program 60 minutes.

      As for the safety of Indycar, whilst the new generation Dallara DW12 is not perfect, it is a far safer car than the IR07 that preceded it. In particular they have added bodywork behind the rear wheels to prevent cars from launching off one another and becoming airborne, like Wheldon at Las Vegas, or Mark Webber in Valencia in 2010.

  5. Arshadhusain says:

    love him for his innocense .. barri boy !!

  6. peru-kowalsky says:

    i don’t like barrichello since his ferrari years, and some other small things, but i understand he is a real racer. To convince me again, he must race the indy 500, after a lot of talking with his wife.

    1. Steve says:

      To convince you what? He doesn’t neet to prove anything to you. Plus what’s the big deal about Indy 500?

      1. Jeff says:

        Stick yer foot down. Turn left.

        OK, I know that’s an over-simplification, and it takes a high level of skill to drive an Indycar, but anyone who’s piloted an F1 car around Monaco, Imola, Monza, Silverstone etc., has demonstrated a greater spread of car control skills than are necessary to nail it round a banked oval track. Besides, Rubens has already raced at Indy.

        He’s got nothing to prove. He’s one of the best drivers in the world.

      2. Robert says:

        Actually, it requires a fair degree of car control since speed at Indy is basically gained by taking as much downforce off as possible while not loosing control. Also a lap of the Indy Oval involves getting as close to the wall as possible while not making contact in order to minimize the loss of speed in the corner.

      3. lecho says:

        Robert –> say anything about going flat, high-speed and close to the wall to a guy who took Eau Rouge in more than twenty different F1 cars :)

      4. Carlos Ribeiro says:

        Iecho -> And Blanchimont, and Parabolica, and 130R, and last corner at Canada (“the wall of champions”), and many others…

      5. peru. kowalsky says:

        neither to you… but i am talking about what i think, and he deceived all the fans when he let schumacer pass him not once but twice at austria.
        He stayed at ferrari when he should do an alonso and leave, even if the car was a winner.
        If he goes an risks it at indy, that will mean he puts racing first.
        That i can respect. Being an f1 driver past his due date, when he knows that hurting himself is not a real posibility, is not too impresive.

  7. goferet says:

    Whoa!!! I guess it’s true what they say then, that racing is a drug, a very addictive drug at that and it’s quite obvious from Rubens’ passionate words that he needs some kind of rehad to help him recover from the F1 withdraw symptoms he’s suffering from.

    So it appears Rubens is off to Indy Cars despite the promises to the Missus, I suspect Rubens wants to remain fit & on form because the reports I read are that he’s still hoping for a comeback in F1 just like Schumi & Kimi.

    Ha, interesting to read Aryton too was all for equal cars in F1, he too must have been disgusted watching less worthy drivers steal WDCs from him with ease but unfortunately F1 has that Red Elephant in the room that can’t even tolerant the thought of equal cars = Humiliation when they get beaten.

    As for Rubens’ boys, am sure we can look forward to his younger son joining the circus in the future (Brazil tends to have great sponsors) also in my experience, it’s the younger sons that tend to be more like their fathers like the older ones.

    Now, I don’t expect much from that Rubens biography especially concerning his Ferrari years for Schumi & the Red Dragon must have made him sign all kinds of non disclosure contacts & hence the quote, ”I don’t know if it will ever come out”.

    And oh, one last thing, experience in F1 is waaaaay over rated for how come the most experienced driver EVER has nothing to show for it & yet his idol Aryton drove half as many races but clinched 3 WDCs

    P.s.

    Hahaa those former Brawn drivers are something else;

    First Jenson promised his Missus that he would marry her after bagging the WDC only to go back on his word and now Rubens pulls this *&@# on his dear unsuspecting wife —> What a bunch of crooks!

    And of course Rubens’ wife is going to go through with his dreams for there’s nothing a new diamond bracelet can’t fix.

    1. Sebee says:

      You never heard of adrenaline “junkies”?

    2. Steve says:

      Human nature is general toward the dark side. Yor need a great humna being to hold back the dark side and show the bright side.

      1. Paul J says:

        Well said, Yoda.

    3. Matt says:

      Steady on, he hasn’t broken any promises yet. Indycar has far more road courses than ovals.

  8. Dunky says:

    Looking at the clip I dont think the Senna test was particularly meaningful, he hardly got out of 2nd gear! Definitely political.

    I’d love to see Rubens do Indy. Reckon he’d do really well over there. Not to be underestimated though, there are some quality drivers in the States. Sato has struggled to make an impact.

    1. rob in victoria bc says:

      I wonder if the guy who wrote this now regrets it. Took me a while to think of it, Senna’s been gone for so long, but that’s a very arrogant way to write about a great driver like him.’Hardly got out of second gear. Definitely political.’ Personally, I doubt that’s how Senna went to any test.

      The 90′s were the heady days of IndyCar, went to the Vancouver Indy in ’93, met Mansell, Rahal, Luyendyk.

      Remember how damned fast Zanardi and Montoya were when they came along.

  9. ATB says:

    brilliant if it happens. Be interesting to see how he measures up against the current indycar drivers and vice versa. Hopefully indy will get back to where it was in the early 90′s.

  10. Bayan says:

    James, that shot or rubinho taking the corner in the Brawn car is fantastic.

  11. Rob Newman says:

    Barrichello will not be back in F1 (as a driver). I don’t know why he thinks he can come back just like Schumi and Kimi. They are champions and people really wanted them. There is no one queuing up for Barrichello even now.

    He broke the cardinal rule. F1 is a small community with a handful of teams. Never bad mouth your employer. That will never go down well with the teams and their sponsors.

    Adios Rubino and good luck with the book!

  12. [MISTER] says:

    I love Rubens even more now that you shared this with us James. He is so open in his interviews. Love him.
    Wish him all the best and to keep safe.

  13. kerbRider says:

    Looking forward to his nutso younger boy racing in future.

    he’s a good man Rubens, I wish him the best post F1. I know i will miss him greatly.

  14. Rich_M says:

    Slightly off topic, does anybody know what engine was in that indycar in the video. You can hear the turbo, if the next reg F1 engines sound like that it wont be too bad. I love the last few seconds of that video, you can hear Senna stabbing away at the accelerator. Music to my ears!

    1. DistraChi says:

      Should be the Ilmor 265B (Badged as a Chevrolet)
      2.65 Liter Turbocharged V8.

  15. shane says:

    Isn’t that Jenson?

    1. newton says:

      good call. they were quite similar with the yellow and white, but that looks like JB’s Monster logo on top.

  16. Giuseppe F1 says:

    Sorry a bit off topic James, yet talking of F1 tittle-tattle, with the news in the Sunday Times last week, seems we will have another LOTUS v LOTUS battle in F1 2012 with Bahar v Genii/Lopez competing against each other for a buyout of Lotus from new Proton owners, rather than working with each other as had been thought– will you be doing a write-up of your views at all James? Would be very interested to hear your views, especially in light of your recent luncheon with Dany Bahar. Kindest regards and loving the blog as always – Giuseppe

    1. James Allen says:

      Looks that way. Working on that story now

      1. Giuseppe F1 says:

        Thank you James, and I really appreciate you replying to me there. When do you think you will be publishing your story on this James? Have you seen the ‘Lotus/Day In The Life of Dany Bahar’ feature in the latest edition of EVO Magazine (Feb 2012 issue) – the day they shadowed Dany was in December and theres much there showing Dany and Gerard Lopez getting on seemingly very well, both in the text and photos – its a fascinating read, especially in light of these recent murmourings of a breakdown between the two. James, what do you think has changed so recently to cause what seemed like Bahar and Lopez really being happy to collaborate together, to now having them fighting against each other for control of Lotus? I always thought wed have the situation of Genii eventually buying Lotus, but Dany and his current executive committee still being relatively in place to continue the new 5-year plan yet with Lopez owning/Chair of the whole thing and Genii running the F1 team? Its a shame because for all the flack he is getting, I really like Bahar and what he is looking to do with the whole Lotus rebirth and it seems he may soon regretabbly be on the outside looking in – I hope this is press murmourings only at this stage and that a Bahar/Genii collaboration for Lotus Cars and Lotus F1 can still come off.

      2. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

        I think its because Bahar sees it as a way to protect his job. Survival is a powerful motorvator!

  17. Werewolf says:

    The thing with racing drivers is they’re racing drivers. As James himself has said on several occasions, they have something the rest of us don’t and in Barrichello it is clearly still not fulfilled.

    If he needs to do Indycars, then good luck to him, although I must admit to hoping he does a deal for the road courses only and skips the four ovals in this year’s series. Those places have scared me since before Indycars had wings and nothing has changed. It’s not just the speeds, it’s that road-racers tend to instinctively apply opposite lock on the banking and create their own accidents.

    1. Mark says:

      It’s the super speedways where the dangers are, short oval tracks like Chicagoland with steeper banking are much safer yet extremely entertaining to watch.

  18. Gridlock says:

    It occurred to me that while he may not be able to bring huge sponsorship sums to a race outfit, 1.6m twitter followers is a huge asset.

  19. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    I think Rubens should look towards sports cars and perhaps a Le Mans tilt. Drivers like McNish have shown their class and cemented their legacy.

    As for the state of US racing, the best drivers have followed the money. It is a shame that someone like Bernie can’t take a class like GP2 and rebrand it in the US. Then target the best drivers across all classes.

  20. Forzaminardi says:

    Rubens is a legend. Not just as an extraordinarily talented and experienced racing driver, but as a genuine person who is passionate about his profession. Any series would be proud to have him as part of the show. It is Williams’ shame that it’s not F1.

  21. chris green says:

    People forget that N Piquet and E Fittipaldi
    both survived F1 only to come unstuck in indy cars. Emerson a broken back from memory and Nelson horrific leg injuries. Both brazilians too. Maybe Rubens needs to rethink ovals.

  22. justabloke says:

    I really hope I’m wrong but I have a bad feeling about Rubens doing Indycar, can’t piut my finger on it but I hope he doesn’t. WTCC maybe, prove his mettle in a totally different place…..

  23. Mark says:

    I really hope he has a go at IndyCar I think he could shine at it. The more talented drivers that come over to IndyCar then the better it will be for the sport. F1 will always come first for me but Indycar comes a close second. For those of you who are quick to dismiss IndyCar you should go see it live if you get the chance it’s very enjoyable and they are really trying to improve the series, such a shame though the incident with Dan Weldon happened.

  24. JohnBt says:

    Rubens…..”Why not Le Mans”, makes much more sense.

    From 12 to 25 turns to 4 turns is ridiculous!!!

  25. Conor says:

    Haha that’s why I love sites like this, a perfect answer

  26. Robert says:

    No. No. No. This is complete stupidity Rubens.

    Listen to your wife and look at your kids.

    R.I.P. Dan Wheldon

  27. elephino says:

    Rubens has said he’s worked it out with his wife, so that’s no longer a problem. Now it’s up to KV Racing and Tony Kanaan to work out money and a deal.

  28. Richard D says:

    Time to take a well deserved retirement, Rubens! After acheiving the longest yet career in F1, why consider dropping down into Indy? I’m sure you’ve earned sufficient to retire on and enjoy your family.

  29. George says:

    Legend

  30. Andrew Kirk says:

    Off topic James but what in your view was Barrichello’s best race and best season in F1?

    1. James Allen says:

      1999 was pretty good with Stewart. Second place in Monaco was a standout in the rain.

      His best win was Silverstone in Ferrari again in rainy conditions, 2003.

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