Barrichello may leave KV Racing for Honda team UPDATE #2 “We’ve got an investment in Rubens, we want to keep him and we’ve got people in Brazil right now trying to sell sponsorships,” Jimmy Vasser told speed.com, who co-owns KV Racing with Kevin Kalkhoven.
“He’s free to do what he wants but I’d like to get some clarity because I keep hearing all these stories about where he might be going.”
“You would have to ask Rubens if he’s interested in our team,” replied Rob Edwards, team manager for Sam Schmidt’s operation, when asked if they had approached the 40-year-old veteran about joining Pagenaud next year.
“We definitely want to run a second car and Sam and I have a list of drivers we’re interested in and we’re going through it.”
“Is Rubens a guy that we’d look at? Absolutely,’’ said Bobby Rahal, whose operation is also a distinct possibility for son, Graham, next season.
“He’s a good driver, I like his personality and he could be a leader in the team. You’ve got to put him on your radar screen.
“For us, finding the funding for a second car is our emphasis right now but we certainly hope to be a 2-car team next year.”
“We want to have that No. 38 car program on the grid next year because four entries works best for us,” said Mike Hull, managing director for Target/Ganassi Racing. “I just met Rubens for the first time, briefly, last weekend at Mid-Ohio and if he’s available and we can put it together it would be great for us.
“But at this point we haven’t had any serious discussion.” Speed.com08/09/12 Rubens Barrichello is set to switch from KV Racing to a rival squad for the 2013 IndyCar season. The 40-year-old Brazilian has endured a frustrating transition to racing in North America after leaving Formula 1 at the end of last season, with just five finishes inside the top 10 and a best result of seventh.
It was widely assumed that his close relationship with fellow KV driver Tony Kanaan - who engineered his move to IndyCar - would be enough to keep him with the team next year.
However, Barrichello said that he has no qualms about moving from the squad owned by Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser to a team that can deliver on his aim to run at the front.
AUTOSPORT understands that he has already held advanced talks with at least one Honda-powered team about a drive next year.
"I don't like being 15th, and I am working myself up," Barrichello told AUTOSPORT. "I'm getting better in comparison with my team-mates, but my car is still not. And the strategy side still hasn't clicked.
"I'm fairly open to [KV owners] Jimmy [Vasser] and Kevin [Kalkhoven]; they gave me a car, and we had a situation where the deal was done in the last 20 minutes. But I'm here to win.
"Now that I have done IndyCar, I want to do it better, because I don't think I was able to do what I am really capable of for one reason or another. And since I do this because I enjoy doing it, I might as well come back." Racer.com
08/04/12 Everything you’ve read about Rubens Barrichello being one of the nicest men on the planet is absolutely true. But even nice guys have their limits.
|Barrichello Friday at Mid-Ohio|
The 40-year-old’s warm and endearing personality has been one of the highlights of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season, but after a rather disappointing rookie season with KV Racing, the Formula One veteran is finding it hard to maintain his sunny disposition.
Barrichello hasn’t lost his manners, but he is starting to lose his patience with being in an unfamiliar position—one that usually finds him far down the grid, and well behind numerous drivers that should be struggling to keep pace with his No. 8 car.
Blame some of it on his lack of familiarity with the Dallara DW12 Indy car, and that he’s seeing the majority of IndyCar’s tracks for the first time, but Friday’s practice session at Mid-Ohio also highlighted the other part of the equation Barrichello’s been looking to improve.
Despite being the fastest of KV’s three drivers, Barrichello ended the day in 20th, ahead of teammates E.J. Viso and Tony Kanaan in 21st and 22nd, respectively. And with many results like that this year, the 11-time Grand Prix race winner is beginning to question what it will take to become a regular podium visitor.
Speaking with SPEED.com Friday night, Barrichello reiterated that he’s not throwing in the towel at KV, and might choose to re-sign for 2013, but did confirm he’s started exploring his opportunities elsewhere in the paddock.
“To be honest, I never thought the conversations would start right now—so early,” he said. “I haven’t spoken to many people, but like anything else, you need to be open for conversations.” After starting the year with high expectations as part of Chevrolet’s solid lineup, KV has had punishing season so far, except for the heroic drives put in by Kanaan. Kanaan’s in-race abilities are beyond measure, but the concerning state of competitiveness across KV’s entire fleet has the team and its drivers searching hard and fast for immediate solutions.
“In my mind, I have a situation where we have disappointing results, but I keep smiling because I’m on a learning curve,” Barrichello explained. “And although I have this Formula One experience; I know people expected more from me—I expected more from me—but I think the team went through some rough results, even though Tony [Kanaan] has done some fantastic races, doing what he does, to overtake everybody and get good finishes.
“He’s been trying to get the team tracking the right way, but I never expected I’d be losing so much time in this car. But then you almost get used to it. It’s funny; I still don’t have a baseline setup I’m happy with, but we’re working very hard to make things happen.”
“I’m open for anything,” he remarked. “I think (KV Racing co-owner) Jimmy Vasser is trying to put a deal together—that’s what he’s telling me. But like every time in Formula One, I was always open to talking to people. Yes, you need to talk to everyone before you make a decision, but I would love to have a competitive car. I know I have a learning curve, but I want to get back to winning.” More at speed.com