Barrichello: 2011 has been horrible
He has started more races than anyone else in Formula One, but it is more than just years on the clock that Rubens Barrichello offers the sport, he told Reuters as he looks towards his 20th year in motor racing. Still to agree terms with his Williams F1 team for next season, the 39-year-old Brazilian will be at the wheel for a record 321st grand prix in Singapore this weekend.
|A not so happy Barrichello|
Yet despite having racked up almost two decades in an F1 cockpit, Barrichello insists he is in the shape of his life and has more than ever to bring to the table.
“I am physically better than I was when I was 18… I really am, it is true,” he smiled.
“You can see it. Every year you have to put yourself onto tests and you have numbers and they monitor the way you breathe and the way you sweat so, I am in great shape.
“The (Williams) team is changing engines, personnel is changing so… I think I have a lot to give to the team,” the Brazilian told Reuters in an interview.
“It is not just experience… because if you have experience but no speed then it is nothing. If you have speed and no experience it is actually better… but what I can offer the team is my speed — and the experience comes gratis.
Drained by jet-lag after a long flight from Brazil, Barrichello lights up when he speaks of the sport he says he has loved since he was six-years-old.
“I think it is a love and a passion for the speed,” he smiled… “in all honesty I am talking to the team to see if I can race next year.
“I am still in love with the sport, I don’t know what I can do to live without that speed… I am enjoying it more and more.
“I am committed to race until the passion is not there.”
Barrichello has seen a great number of changes — some good, some not so good, he says — since making his debut with the Jordan team in 1993. The sport, though, is just as tough.
“Formula One went through a lot of changes, but the position is pretty much the same, the steering wheel is pretty much the same, although I had one button in ’93 and now I have 22. So… I have to press a little bit more,” he laughed.
“People argue that it is easier to change gears on the hand rather than a lever, but with that the cars became faster so you have more G-forces on the body so it is worse in terms of physically coping with it so it is no easier or harder, it is just different.
“Cars go faster, and every year they (race officials) tend to do something different to slow them down, but engineers are so clever they just make it faster and off we go… we are breaking records every track we go to.
“When I started we had V12 engines, and then I raced V10 for most of my career and then we have V8 and then we go V6 and we are still going to beat lap times.” Reuters