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Barrichello weighing IndyCar future

But it was clear that the recent surge in stories suggesting Rubens might be eyeing up other options were starting to grate. "He's free to do what he wants but I'd like to get some clarity because I keep hearing all these stories about where he might be going," Vasser told SPEED TV. "We're working on Rubens and EJ's deal is always year-to-year. The only thing I can tell you for sure right now is that we're 100 per cent committed to run Tony Kanaan next year."

While talk of a return to F1 seems somewhat far-fetched, it's the possibility of Barrichello moving to a rival IndyCar team that is really gaining momentum as the end of the current season draws near, and everyone starts thinking about their plans for next season. In particular, there are persistent rumours that Honda want Barrichello back in their fold, after their time together in F1 at BAR. That would mean Barrichello moving away from the Chevrolet-backed KV Racing team.

"We definitely want to run a second car [in 2013]," confirmed Rob Edwards, manager of Sam Schmidt's Honda-powered team. "Sam and I have a list of drivers we're interested in and we're going through it [but] you would have to ask Rubens if he's interested in our team."

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing - also running Honda engines and currently fielding a fellow F1 graduate in the form of Takuma Sato - is another team being linked with Barrichello for a prospective sophomore season. "Is Rubens a guy that we'd look at? Absolutely," confirmed team co-owner Bobby Rahal, also a former Champ Car driver and Indianapolis 500 champion. "He's a good driver, I like his personality and he could be a leader in the team."

But the most tantalising possibility of all is the fourth seat at Honda's flagship team Chip Ganassi Racing, which appears to be vacant following news that Graham Rahal is now a free agent for 2013.

"I just met Rubens for the first time, briefly, last weekend at Mid-Ohio," said the team's managing director Mike Hull. "If he's available and we can put it together, it would be great for us." However, he emphasised that there had been no serious discussions about the prospect between the team and Barrichello.

Frustrations about his transitionary year aside, it still seems that Barrichello is enjoying his racing enough to ensure that he continues in competition again in 2013 if the right opportunity arises. Whether that's in F1, or at KV Racing, Ganassi or one of the other IndyCar teams coyly throwing glances in his direction very much remains to be seen.

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]
KV Racing Technology`s Rubens Barrichello during pre-season testing at Sebring. March 2012. [Photo Credit: Michael Levitt - LAT for IndyCar Media]
Rubens Barrichello (#8) during the 2012 IndyCar Indy 500 Rookie Orientation Program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10, 2012. (c) 2012 F. Peirce Williams (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Scott Dixon - Chip Ganassi Indy Car [credit: IndyCar TV Twitter]
Graham Rahal Detroit celebration
Detroit IndyCar race start
Esteban Gutierrez IndyCar Detroit
Graham Rahal Detroit IndyCar 2017
Graham Rahal Detroit
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

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Thorborg - Unregistered

August 17, 2012 5:46 PM

Sounds like Rubens heart is still in F1. The trouble is he wants F1 more than F1 wants him. Perhaps he is still homesick. I think he should try to put F1 out of his mind and accept it is over. I feel he is in danger of weakening his position when negotiating or attempting to sign contracts with Indycar teams. I don't think that giving the impression his heart and mind are somewhere else will help his chances... He needs to come out and say "I have no intention of ever returning to F1, I want to race Indycars".

Don - Unregistered

August 17, 2012 3:48 PM

Rubens is finding out that there are very good drivers in IndyCar, and the car itself is harder to drive (physically) than an F1 car without power steering. Pushing the limits of cold tires after a pit stop is another area that he's had problems with. Maybe he just isn't that good anymore?

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