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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]
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway with the winner`s flag after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power celebrate on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway receives the winner`s trophy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway, Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Will Power pose for a selfie on the podium after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway celebrates with the Ed Carpenter Racing team after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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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.



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