Rubens Barrichello has commiserated with countryman Felipe Massa
upon hearing that he was to be replaced at Ferrari
by Kimi Raikkonen
next season, but told his younger countryman that there is upside to the decision.
With Massa backtracking on early season claims that he would not consider dropping down the F1 pecking order just to prolong his stay in the top flight – the eleven-time race winner has already admitted to talking with Lotus about 2014 – Barrichello pointed out that he found out that there could be 'life after Ferrari', having enjoyed success with both Brawn between stints at Honda and Williams
in the twilight of his career.
"I know there is life after Ferrari," the 41-year old, who went on to race in IndyCars and the Brazilian Stock Car Series after F1, told his homeland's TotalRace
website, "I am proof of that with Brawn and a series of things that happened.
"Everything was very good and there are some things that are even better
in life after Ferrari. Driving for Ferrari
is the most sensational thing that exists but, the moment after you leave, it is a release, with less pressure and more freedom in interviews. There is a moment of pain, but there is life after it."
Barrichello, who twice finished runner-up in the world championship to team-mate Michael Schumacher - in 2002 and 2004 – spent six years at the Scuderia but, like Massa, often found himself forced into a supporting role. Having left Maranello to take up a seat at Honda, he returned to the top step of the podium – and finished third in points - in Brawn's amazing 2009 campaign before seeing out his days as the wise and experienced guiding hand at Williams.
Massa has been at Ferrari
for two years longer than his compatriot, and Barrichello admits that it was hard to separate fact from fiction at Monza in the days before Ferrari's 2014 line-up became apparent.
“I am sorry for Felipe," he sighed, "I was there at the weekend and the news was around, [but] I couldn't tell if it was true or not. I might have been there as a journalist [with TV Globo
] but I am also a friend of the family so I didn't ask any questions. [The announcement] took me a bit by surprise, but Felipe is a good driver and I think he can get a seat, [but] he has to go to where his heart tells him to and where he has an open door."