Rubens Barrichello looks more likely than ever to be making the switch from F1 to IndyCars for the 2012 season, but admits that he still needs to get final details in place before he can confirm the move.
Despite announcing that he has not entirely given up on achieving a 20th season in the top flight, Barrichello's impressive test with the KV Racing Technology team's Dallara-Chevrolet has whetted his appetite for moving to the United States in order to prolong his single-seater career at the highest level possible. The Brazilian veteran found himself without an F1 drive for the year ahead after Williams elected to bring in Bruno Senna to partner Pastor Maldonado, but was convinced to try friend Tony Kanaan's IndyCar at Sebring, and now appears to be working towards securing a full season in the American series.
“There is a lot going on, we have spoken with many people and there are things to be resolved, including the family aspect,” Barrichello told Radio Bandeirantes
, “There is great anticipation and, if everything goes well, I think we can make the announcement of the decision early next week. I'm sure anyone who knows me can see in my eyes what I want.
"The first race is on 25 March [in St Petersburg] and there is no time to waste but, if we want to be competitive, everything has to be right and that means sponsorship, team, family - everything.”
Barrichello's family figures to feature strongly in his decision. Although reported to have promised his wife that he would not race on any of the IndyCar Series' notorious oval circuits, Barrichello insists that the decision was still open for discussion, and has since made no secret of his interest in tackling the biggest race of them all, the Indianapolis 500. Add to that the suggestion that, if no F1 role could be found, he could take time out to spend with his children, whom he has largely missed growing up while traipsing the globe for the past ten years.
Even as recently as Wednesday [8 February], there was still work to be done before an announcement could be made.
"No decisions just yet...," Barrichello wrote on his Twitter
feed, "Small dilemma at home plus trying to find sponsors to have a complete budget. Hoping for something good... The future is wide open as I said before. Let's hope for the best to happen."
If he does confirm the move to IndyCars, Barrichello is likely to partner Kanaan and, probably, Venezuela's EJ Viso in a three-car KVRT line-up.