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F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello to test IndyCar again at Infineon next weekend
One of the biggest names in Formula One racing is coming to the Bay Area next weekend to test drive an IndyCar.

That's because Rubens Barrichello is thinking of making the jump from the Formula One circuit, which he's been an integral part of for nearly 20 years. It would be quite a coup for IndyCar racing, considering Barrichello's background.

He is the iron man of Formula One, playing both a leading and supporting role on some of the most famous teams in the sport. Perhaps most famously, he teamed with the great Michael Schumacher on the Ferrari dynasty of the early 2000s.

In 322 career starts, the Brazilian driver has achieved 11 wins, 14 poles, 68 podiums, 106 top-five finishes and 171 top-10s. He has been runner-up in the championship twice (2002 and 2004).

He's coming to Infineon Raceway next Saturday and Sunday to test drive a car from KV Racing Technology, for whom Barrichello's best buddy, Tony Kanaan, races. The test laps will be open to the public, for free, from around 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

The KV team is run by Bay Area-based Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser.

But the main draw for Barrichello is Kanaan.

"Tony Kanaan is like my brother. He invited me to the test, and he gave me all the secrets needed to drive an IndyCar fast," said Barrichello, who said the main difference was that Indy race cars are heavier. "I listen to all he has to say about IndyCars, and he would be happy if I could join him. ... I would be, too."

That last part remains to be seen. KV has a car for Barrichello, but it's still looking for the money.

"It's purely coming down to sponsorship," a team spokesperson said. "But we are very close."

In the meantime, Formula One fanatics can get a good look at a legend next weekend, testing his skills on the windy turns of Infineon.

Asked to compare the Sonoma track with those of Formula One legend, Barrichello took a wait-and-see approach.

"Every track has something good and challenging, even if we are talking about slow speed stuff," said Barrichello. "Tracks in Europe have a very high standard of safety, so I need to go to Sonoma and check it out, before I can really compare." San Francisco Chronicle
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