IndyCar »

Barrichello's verdict: 'It is a beast...I like it!'

Rubens Barrichello took to the track for the first time in a KV Racing DW12 IndyCar, as the prospects grew of a fulltime switch to the series for the F1 veteran.
"It's a different car, it's a different beast, but it is a beast," was Rubens Barrichello's first reaction to driving a 2012 IndyCar at Sebring International Raceway on Monday, as the guest of his close friend Tony Kanaan and of Jimmy Vasser's KV Racing Technology team. (See main story and video of the session in the F1 section.)

"I've come in as an invitation from my brother, Tony, and I am enjoying this time with him at the track and with a new car," he told reporters ahead of his two-day outing in the new-specification DW12 Dallara, while continuing to remain coy about his longer term plans.

"It's just an invitation for him to help us out as far as his feedback," stressed Kanaan, who had made the invitation after the news broke that Barrichello had lost his seat at Williams F1 to Bruno Senna for 2012. "What goes beyond that, it's up to him."

While IndyCar may be new to Barrichello, he has more racing experience of several of the DW12's new innovations such as carbon brakes and the steering-wheel mounted clutch than the IndyCar Series regulars themselves have, and it's his input in setting up such areas of the new car that KV Racing is hoping to benefit from.

"I think we've already seen we'll learn a lot from him on setup and everything else," said an impressed Vasser. "You can see he'll be right there in no time ... I think he enjoyed himself!"

Although no official timings were released for any cars running during the testing session at Sebring, observers reported that Barrichello was soon putting in times in the mid-54s, a little behind Kanaan's fastest morning times and compared with a low 53s benchmark for Scott Dixon during last week's testing on the 1.8-mile, 10-turn short road course in the heart of Florida state.

The question remains just how serious the chance of Barrichello moving to IndyCar in 2012 could be. Early reports had suggested that Barrichello had ruled out switching to the series and had long ago promised his wife Silvana that he would never run on ovals - not that this had to be an out-and-out deal breaker, as Sebastien Bourdais' road/street course-only season in 2011 demonstrated.

"It is something to talk about," admitted Barrichello, downplaying the importance of the oval question. "But it is not an issue I'd call a 'concern.'"

KV Racing Technology fielded three cars in 2011, with Tony Kanaan certain to continue with the team into 2012. EJ Viso is also likely to remain with the organisation, while Takuma Sato's as-yet unconfirmed move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing leaves at least one seat to be filled.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rubens Barrichello seat fitting in Tony Kanaan`s KV Racing Dallara DW12   [pic credit: Tony Kanaan/Twitter]
Rubens Barrichello tests KVRT Indycar at Sebring   [pic credit: KVRT]
Detroit IndyCar race start
Esteban Gutierrez IndyCar Detroit
Graham Rahal Detroit IndyCar 2017
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Sebastien Bourdais Indy 500 practice
Max Chilton Indy 500 2017
Max Chilton Indy 500 2017
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Sebastien Bourdais headshot
Sebastien Bourdais Indy 500 practice 2017
Ed Carpenter Indy 500 practice 2
Ed Carpenter Indy 500 practice
Max Chilton IndyCar 2017
Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing 2017
Johnny Rutherford, McLaren-Honda-Andretti [Credit: McLaren Racing]
Fernando Alonso, IndyCar, McLaren

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Dave - Unregistered

January 31, 2012 8:32 PM

Of course he's on the pace! Why wouldn't he be? Name a top F1 driver who came to CART who wasn't on the pace? I am not a big fan of his but I readily admit he is still probably quicker that probably half the F1 grid, and the CART car, while fast, is just a little slower than an F1 machine. Rubens is still likely "faster" than the CART machinery and therefore his race experience and knowledge of carbon brakes will be a great asset. I hope he comes to CART as his profile AND his pedigree are far more impressive than, say, promoting the Danica's in the future.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.