Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Barrichello: I'm still a rookie

02 April 2012, 12:11

BIRMINGHAM, USA -   Veteran driver Rubens Barrichello has a record 322 Formula 1 starts - among them 11 wins - and 1.5-million Twitter followers.

Despite all that, Barrichello says he will be a rookie during the 2012 IndyCar season.

He said piloting a still-unfamiliar car at venues where he's never raced makes him every bit the neophyte and deserving of the extra practice session granted to rookies and drivers ranked outside the top 10.


Barrichello said: "I'm definitely a rookie. I can see the likes of (Josef) Newgarden as a rookie. He's done Indy Lights. He knows the track, but he's a rookie because he's so young. (Simon) Pagenaud is a rookie but he has done races before.

"People are saying that I have 19 years of experience and I'm not a rookie," he said.

"I don't want to run for the championship as a rookie. But when I go to Long Beach - let's say I finish top-10 here - I don't know the track. I don't know the car very well, and maybe I have only an hour and a half to try the track. I think this is not right, because I am a rookie. I need that half-hour to learn the track."

Barrichello, in his debut season in KV Racing Technology's No.8 car, will compete in his second IndyCar event, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

He spent two days testing at Barber Motorsports Park, even if one was marred by rain. IndyCar rules merely state that the series decides who receives rookie status.

Beaux Barfield, president of competition, said he made the decision on Barrichello based on precedent and level of experience. IndyCar did not classify Sebastian Bourdais, a winner of 31 open-wheel races, as a rookie in 2011.

In 2012, Katherine Legge (28 Champ Car starts) and Pagenaud are rookies. Pagenaud competed in one season of Champ Car in 2007 and ran three IndyCar races in 2011.


In Nascar, former Formula 1 star Juan Pablo Montoya was the 2007 Rookie of the Year. Going back even further, Nigel Mansell was Formula 1 champion but counted as a Cart rookie in 1993 before winning the points title.

Tony Kanaan, Barrichello's team mate, also argues that Barrichello meets the definition of a rookie. He said: "I still don't understand how a guy that never raced in IndyCar cannot be classified as a rookie. I understand he's got experience, but so had Simon Pagenaud. I still don't understand that."

Improving on a rocky debut is of more immediate concern for Barrichello and his team. He was 17th in St Petersburg after running out of fuel with a couple of laps left on the street course. Mechanical difficulties also limited him to eight laps in the first practice session.

Now he shifts to a road course and Kanaan thinks he could finish up front.

Kanaan said: "I know he's going to do well. I have no doubt how good he's going to do so for me there will be no surprises. Hopefully he's understanding more and more.

"It'll be the first race he comes back to a track where he's already tested. I think he can win every race. I definitely have a lot of faith in the guy and I know he's talented."


Barrichello ran 25 laps before the first qualifying session was stopped by lightning on the 3.8km, 17-turn course. He was fifth-fastest with a lap of 1min11.60.

Defending champion Will Power was fastest (1min11.29), followed by Helio Castroneves (1min11.50), Takuma Sato (1min11.56) and rookie Josef Newgarden (1min11.59). A number of drivers didn't bother slogging through the afternoon practice session under heavy rain, with Barrichello's nine laps the third most ahead of Saturday's qualifying.

Now the Brazilian wants a better weekend. He certainly has the seasoning to deal with setbacks such as St Petersburg and any critics during his transition.

Kanaan said: "We've got to a level in our careers - I don't think we need to prove anything to anybody. It's for ourselves and to do good for our team. If people want to bash or criticize him, I don't think he cares. He knows what he's doing and when the time is right, he's going to do it."

- AP

Tags f1 cars

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...