"He came here because I invited him," explained Barrichello. "It was a pleasure to receive him. He stayed on the pit wall with the team radio, living a totally different experience compared to F1. And different to what many people think, he was not here looking for a job. This guy will race a lot more in F1. To face a problem, you have to smile and be happy with yourself before handling the situation. The important thing is what is inside him, and he seems relaxed. He was happy to be here."
04/29/12 With a lot of pressure for him to be replaced as Fernando Alonso's teammate, Ferrari driver Felipe Massa stopped by the Anhembi circuit to give a boost to his Brazilian friends ahead of Sunday’s Sao Paulo IndyCar 300.
Massa was in Rubens Barrichello’s pit for most of Saturday’s practice and even participated in one of the Brazilian’s meetings with his engineer. Barrichello joined IndyCar this year after a 19-year career in Formula One.
“I’m here for the four Brazilians, they are all my friends," Massa said. “It’s always good to be at a track, getting to know a different series. We love auto racing, we never take a break from it."
Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan and Ana Beatriz are the other Brazilian drivers racing this weekend at the Sao Paulo 300, the fourth IndyCar race of the year.
Massa said it was already expected for Barrichello to have difficulties making the move from F1 to IndyCar.
“The car is completely different from the one in Formula 1," Massa said. “The transition from one category to the other takes time, but I’m confident he will get adapted quickly and will run up front pretty soon."
Barrichello will start 13th on Sunday, one spot ahead of teammate Kanaan. Castroneves struggled and will start only 20th, just ahead of Ana Beatriz.
Massa is in Brazil on a break from his F1 duties. The next F1 race is May 13 in Spain. But the speculation that Massa could also make the move to IndyCar should Ferrari replace him after this year could not be ignored.