One area that's been a surprise is how well he's done on the oval tracks. When the idea was initially floated that Rubens might transfer to the IZOD IndyCar Series for 2012, it was almost a given that he would sign up for road courses only given his prior experience, and his promise to his wife that he'd never run on speedways.
"I'm pretty satisfied with what I achieved in the ovals. That's first time. Every time I start on an oval, I can see the last 20 laps as a completely different race, so I'm pretty satisfied with that," he said, indicating that the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana could be strong outing for him, especially since it's a track that had been absent from the series since 2005 making it virtually new ground for everyone.
"But I wasn't [satisfied] on the street courses," he went on. "In Europe, Monaco, for example, has been one of my strengths. It was good. It was so tough on me, Detroit. We had problems adapting the car. But not to be able to qualify, the car was sideways on the bumps."
Barrichello's comments between the Mid-Ohio and Sonoma races were taken by many to be rather critical of his IndyCar team, KV Racing Technology, and Rubens was asked whether there had been any change in how he and the team had worked together coming into this weekend's Californian race.
"It was one day that the strategy didn't mean a lot, I was able to play basically the numbers that the team were telling me to play, consistently fast," he said. But he admitted that he and the team as a whole had spent more time preparing on that front coming into the weekend.
"We talked more about it. I called for a change on all the strategy meetings. There was one for TK, one for EJ, one for myself. We got everybody in the room and talked lively about it. There were more ideas ... Strategy plays a big, big thing on how the end result will be."
Overall there was a definite sense that Barrichello had turned a corner and was finally adjusting to his new environment - and moreover that he was starting to mould the team around him to what he needed by way of support from them in return.
"It's getting more familiar," he agreed. "But every time, you know, you change the track, you know, you get new numbers, it's a totally new thing. But I'm getting there ... It's a different altogether series."