Rubens Barrichello has revealed he found it difficult to adjust to life after Formula 1 when his record-breaking career came to an 'unexpected' end in 2011, admitting it led to him erroneously taking the first IndyCar deal that came to him.

Making his debut back in 1992, Barrichello competed in F1 until the end of the 2011 season during which time he notched up a record 322 starts and 11 race wins during stints with Jordan, Stewart, Ferrari, Honda, Brawn, Williams.

Now aged 45, Barrichello went on to compete in the IndyCar Series following his F1 exit in 2012 but has largely concentrated on a successful title-winning tilt in the popular Brazilian StockCar series, while last month saw him compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time.

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Even so, Barrichello admits the immediate aftermath of his F1 retirement - when he was replaced at Williams by countryman Bruno Senna - clouded his judgement when it came to deciding what to do next.

"It was difficult to adjust because I wasn't expecting it to be honest with you," he said. "It is the story of Formula 1 nowadays. There are just drivers there that are using their balloon and package of money to get in. This is a little bit less romantic in my opinion. Whenever I lost my place, it was to that.

"It was difficult for the first couple of days. I ended up signing for IndyCar and it was a good decision. I should have waited another 10 days to actually talk to all of the teams, because I just went in, boom, I got the first offer and I said OK I'm racing. It's almost like it was the girlfriend just gives you a no and then you just get the next one that gives you a yes.

"That was the only thing I should have done different, because my car took a long time to be competitive in the IndyCars. It was not set up to have a third car, it was just me there and then they got that mechanic or that engineer. It took some time to gel. At the end of the day, I was doing well on the ovals and the road courses.

Nevertheless, Barrichello says the turnaround of his career in the wake of Honda's sudden exit and its renaissance as the world championship winning Brawn GP squad shows he would never be downhearted about his career.

"I'm not sad about anything. I think life is there for you to learn. For me the best moment I had in Formula 1, it took so long for me to sign as well, if you remember 2008 to 2009, I didn't have a job for four months and then I had that call. Life is a rebirth every day.

"You just have to be open and sure that it always can turn your way. I think 19 years, what I've done, you see nowadays people get there with money and so on, but they last one or two years. To be able to have lasted that long, it's still impressive for me. I had a blast being a Formula 1 driver."

Barrichello finished a respectable 12th overall in his first season of IndyCar racing, scoring a best finish of fourth position at Sonoma Raceway.

Nevertheless, he says he is pleased to have accepted an offer to race in Brazil, where he picked up the StockCar title in his first season. Even so, he says he had to be convinced...

"I had the offer to race Stock Cars. I refused the first time. I said 'no, I'm still driving IndyCars'. The second time it was the same thing, I refused.

"The third time, it was just the same story as the priest that the whole city was underwater, and he was on top of the church, and two boats went by. He said 'no, no, no, I've done enough for God, he's going to save me'. By the third boat he refused, he died. When he got there, he said 'but I was devoted to you, sir'. God said 'I sent you three boats and you never got it!'

"For me it was the same perspective. OK, I'm trying to work on this, but they wanted me. I eventually wanted to do Stock Cars, because it was my dream as a child, after I have done Europe, I have always liked to see the Stock Cars.

"Then I gave up, and I signed to do those three races to raise money for my charity, and I fell in love with the car and the racing and the whole 100,000 people we have there on the tracks. It was nice."

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Once Massa is gone Brazil will struggle to find another driver as nice as these 2 were. True gentlemen of the sport.