IndyCar »

Extra test time, no rookie of the year for Barrichello

The IndyCar officials have stuck to their decision not to give F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello full rookie status in the US series, but will allow him extra track testing time.
When is an IndyCar rookie not a rookie? When he's an F1 driver with 19 years of Grand Prix experience by the name of Rubens Barrichello, according to the organisers of the IZOD IndyCar Series.

IZOD IndyCar Series president of competition Beaux Barfield had previously decided not to classify Barrichello as a rookie for road courses in the 2012 season because of his motor racing resumé, but conceded on Monday that this could put the Brazilian at a disadvantage as he tries to learn the new tracks and the new chassis and engines that the series is using.

As a result, Barfield has modified Barrichello's status for road courses and will allow him to participate in an extra half hour of track time on circuits where he has not previously tested with KV Racing in 2012. That will be done by putting Barrichello into the Group 1 designation for the first practice session reserved for rookies and those drivers outside the top ten in the championship points.

After the first two races of the 2012 season, Barrichello is already in tenth place and tied with reigning series champion Dario Franchitti on points. That meant he looked set to miss out on the additional time at this upcoming weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 15 on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit in California.

Barfield said that Barrichello's status has been "re-evaluated based on team request," after IndyCar had earlier determined that the F1 veteran of 322 Grand Prix starts was not a rookie based on past precedent and the level of experience.

"He will be allowed to participate in the first 30 minutes of the first practice session and he also gets an extra set of tyres," Barfield explained. "So that's a benefit.

"Street circuits that can be quirky and difficult to learn he has the benefit of that extra set of tyres and the extra 30 minutes of practice to learn the track quickly and get down to business," he added.

Barrichello won't get the time and tyres dispensation for the August race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, as he has already participated in team testing there. The same will apply for any other road/street courses that he tests on between now and any race at the same circuit.

"[Thanks] for letting me have the extra 30min on street courses," tweeted Rubens Barrichello after learning of the decision.

Barrichello is already listed as a rookie for oval races and is expected to have his first taste of ovals at Texas Motor Speedway on May 6. He will have to undergo and complete rookie testing there before being eligible to take part in qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 race.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rubens Barrichello signs up for IndyCar with KV Racing - Sao Paulo press conference March 1 2012. [Picture Credit: KV Racing Technology/Twitter feed]
Rubens Barrichello tests KVRT Indycar at Sebring   [pic credit: KVRT]
2016 Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Stefan Wilson, 2016 Indy 500
James Hinchcliffe, Long Beach, IndyCar
Dallara, IndyCar, [Credit: IndyCar]
Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing, IndyCar [Credit: Ed Jones PR]
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske

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.

JJJ - Unregistered

April 10, 2012 1:21 PM

Rediculous and completely arbitrary reasoning. It's his first year in IndyCar, so he's a rookie, simple as that. Only case where it's not as clear cut is when a driver has done just a couple of races in the championship before and then gets an oppertunity to do a full year.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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