Jan.31 PVM) Out of work Formula 1 veteran Rubens Barrichello took little time getting up to pace in his first Indycar test at Sebring on Monday.
It took Barrichello a mere 20 laps, in a car he had never driven, to match the times set by Indycar regulars. Friend Tony Kanaan, who was key in getting the 39 year old Brazilian into he cockpit of the KV Racing Dallara-Chevrolet, said: “The guy comes here for the first time and after 20 laps he’s already running the same lap times as me! His knowledge and experience helped confirm some ideas that we had for this test, so it was very productive having Rubens around.”
Barrichello said after his day in the cockpit, “It was a very nice day. In the morning I tried to get a feel for the car. It’s very different from what I am used to, but I had a good feeling.”
He added, “I’ve tried different configurations and setups. I think that the day has been good for me to discover the qualities of an IndyCar and also give the team some useful information. Some might think that I am a novice, but really I am a Indycar rookie, but I have done this job for 33 years …”
By the end of the day he was posting times that were competitive with drivers who have been in the series for several years and tested at Sebring before.
As for future plans, Barrichello said, “I have not the faintest idea, but I will not stop running.”
The 2012 IndyCar season starts on 25 March with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Florida) and the calendar includes the fabled Indianapolis 500 to be held 27 May.