Jan.29 (PVM) Axed veteran Rubens Barrichello revealed, to a respected Brazilian F1 correspondent, that Frank Williams called him personally to advise him that he had lost his place in the Williams squad for 2012, this was followed shortly thereafter by a call from Bruno Senna.
Speaking to Livio Oricchio, Barrichello said, “Frank Williams personally called me. He began by saying that he did not have good news and he explained that they had decided to sign another driver. Being the professional that he is, he did not mention who the driver was. Shortly thereafter, the same day, they announced the hiring of Bruno.”
He explained, “I also had a share of sponsorship for the team from BMC (Brazil Machinery) which gave me high hopes of staying with the team. I also was prepared to revise my contract to make payment conditional on my results.”
It is public knowledge that Williams has difficulties getting a budget and has lost some of its main sponsors. They were forced to choose a contract that would cover their financial needs. It’s understandable. The decision was solely financial, no doubt, no demerit to anyone,” said the 39 year old.
“Let’s see how they will now develop the car with these difficulties. Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado will have to work hard to help them, the problem is that they are not experienced. It will be a challenge for everyone,” predicts Barrichello.
Word in F1 circles is that Barrichello had managed to raise just short of $5 million, but that was not enough to match the estimated $12.6 million which Senna brought to the table.
Barrichello revealed that Senna – who replaces him in the team – called on the day of the announcement, “He was really affectionate but sounded uncomfortable. I asked him to stop, because we’re friends. I said that my dispute was not with him, but with Williams. The good news is that there were two Brazilian drivers battling for the seat, which guarantees a Brazilian driver on the grid.”
“We will remain friends, this changes nothing. I’m pushing now for Bruno. In his favour is the fact that they will get a better car than my one last year. If they have funds available, Williams can grow. It will depend a lot on the work of its drivers to dictate the direction of development. I talked with the engineers and they signaled me there is significant progress in testing the new model,” said the winner of 11 grands prix.
Barrichello did point out that he had not heard from Adam Parr, the current Chairman of Williams Grand Prix Holdings, the Brazilian telling Oricchio, “Ah, Adam Parr has not contacted me yet.”