Rubens Barrichello confirms move to IndyCar

IndyCar

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 2011

Rubens Barrichello has confirmed his switch to IndyCar for 2012

Rubens Barrichello will race in the IndyCar championship this year, he announced in a press conference in Sao Paulo today.

The former Williams driver has joined KV Racing who he has tested for in recent weeks. His team mates in the three-car outfit will be Tony Kanaan and EJ Viso.

Barrichello said: “I am thrilled, it is something very new to me. I need to thank everyone involved, especially Tony because he has been involved for a long time.

“I would also like to thank my sponsors, BMC, Embrase and Locaweb for their help. This is a new experience, but I am very very happy. With all my experience I will start as a rookie, but I think I will get better as the year progresses.

“My main thing is to be an addition to KV Racing Technology. They have been doing very well and Tony brought the team to a different level last year, so I hope with my contribution we can build on this and take the team to another level. I am extremely happy and have a big smile on my face.”

He will join fellow former F1 drivers Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais and Justin Wilson in the championship this year.

Barrichello will contest all 16 rounds on the 2012 IndyCar calendar which includes seven races on street tracks, five on ovals and four at road courses.

Barrichello revealed his children had persuaded his wife to let him contest the oval races, after he’d previously said he wouldn’t race on ovals.

Tony Kanaan, KV Racing, IndyCar, 2012

Barrichello will drive for IndyCar team KV Racing

KV Racing Technology co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven said: “I was at Sebring when Rubens first got into an IndyCar. The smile when he got out of the car was a great moment and lasted for three days.

“Rubens ended up the fastest at the end of the test, showing the speed he is capable of and his experience setting up a car. Teamed with his ?σΤιΌ?τbrother?σΤιΌ?Ψ Tony Kanaan this is going to be an exciting and successful season for the drivers, the team and the fans.”

Barrichello, who holds the record for most F1 starts with 322, will make his IndyCar debut as a rookie on March 25th in the season-opening race on the St Petersburg street circuit in Florida. The fourth race of the season will be his home event at another street track in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

His first oval race will be the Indianapolis 500 on May 27th. Former F1 driver Jean Alesi has said he will compete in this year’s race as a one-off.

Barrichello will race the Dallara DW12 IndyCar which is being introduced this year.

The new design features rear wheel surrounds designed to limit the chance of cars getting airborne when contact is made, as happened in the crash which claimed Dan Wheldon’s life last October.

Here’s video of Barrichello testing for KV Racing, who will use Chevrolet engines this year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uLRNI_TCcQ

See the full list of 2012 IndyCar teams and drivers.

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53 comments on Rubens Barrichello confirms move to IndyCar

  1. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 1st March 2012, 15:15

    It’s so wonderful to see Rubens make a new start of it. It is a perfect time to join Indycar, with the new engines and cars the field is leveled and the excitement, the potential of the series has gone up dramatically. Here’s to hoping Barrichello can find something in Indycar that he never would have found in that awful Williams, the podium.

  2. Kobayashi24 (@kobayashi24) said on 1st March 2012, 15:15

    He’ll stay there for 20 years or so.

  3. maxthecat said on 1st March 2012, 15:22

    I was hoping Rubens would hang up his helmet, spend time with his family and maybe do a bit for the BBC or Sky. Hope he stays safe out there.

    • Enigma (@enigma) said on 1st March 2012, 21:53

      He’s extremely passionate about racing and it’s great to see he’ll continue racing at a high level. And it should give him some more time with his family, given that the races are closer to his home.

  4. Robbie (@robbie) said on 1st March 2012, 15:23

    Good for RB and I think a great add of Indycar. I will no doubt pay more attention to the series this year. I think RB will have a blast.

  5. Tyson Evans (@bobtehblob) said on 1st March 2012, 15:26

    The sound on that on-board is quite simply amazing <3 Really glad he's found somewhere though!

  6. BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2012, 15:28

    I sure hope he make an impression. His experience from all those years and reported skill in car setup should come quite handy. Looking forward to seeing him crowned “rookie of the year” when the season ends!

  7. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st March 2012, 15:30

    By the way the press conference is still being streamed live, occasionally in English, if you want to watch:

    http://twitcam.livestream.com/8vvg9

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2012, 19:30

      I had it on for a while (listening, the view was not that interesting), some nice things being talked about, although my portuguese is not good enough to understand much of it.

  8. The Dutch Bear (@the-dutch-bear) said on 1st March 2012, 15:30

    Great news, for Barrichello and Indycar. He might well be there for another 10-15 years, considering Emmo went on until he was 49 years and his big crash at the Michigan 500 which ended his career and Mario Andretti was 54 years when he finally quit. A great addition for Indycar, with a new car, new engines and a new driver that is able of winning races.

  9. Joey-Poey (@joey-poey) said on 1st March 2012, 15:38

    SO. EXCITED. Even though I know it’s highly unlikely, I really hope he pulls a Mansell and takes the championship right out of the gate. There’d be some sweet justice in that.

    I also wonder if he’ll be running that fluorescent green scheme or if that’s only for Tony’s car. Kinda hope he has something a little less… garish…

  10. lordhesketh (@lordhesketh) said on 1st March 2012, 15:48

    Obviously thrilled for Rubens. I was very much looking forward to this year’s championship anyway with Canadian James Hinchcliffe due to make a big step forward. This is just icing on the cake.
    However, I can’t ignore the aching in the pit of my stomach. His first oval race will be the Indy 500? That’s scary. Even if he’s up to scratch, there are always a few out there who aren’t.

    • Victor_RO (@victor_ro) said on 2nd March 2012, 12:52

      Mansell’s first attempt at an oval was Phoenix and he crashed in practice… but as for his first race on an oval, it was the ’93 Indy 500. And he could have won but for messing up a restart and getting passed by Emmo and Arie Luyendyk.

  11. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 1st March 2012, 15:50

    Fantastic news for a series I don’t usually follow. Now I’ll be cheering for Rubens.

    IndyCar makes a step foward with this announcement too.

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 1st March 2012, 18:47

      +1, breathe of fresh air for Ruby, sadly we won’t be seeing him raise the no.1 finger/fist after pulling one over Schumi anymore (Hungary 2010, Monaco last year). Wish him all the best, hopefully Indycar will be the ideal catergory where he can fully demonstrate his raw speed.

  12. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 1st March 2012, 16:01

    Bittersweet, isn’t it? On the one hand, I’m happy for him and that he’s found something, but on the other hand, that basically confirms he’s out of F1 for good. I can’t see him coming back next season even if he’s offered a drive. The fact he didn’t get a proper send-off with a massive party and lots of tributes is a travesty. I’m so disappointed that one of the best personalities to have ever driven an F1 car has been kicked out the back door without anyone noticing. He deserved so much more than this. Plus it would have been nice to see him cry on TV one more time! :P

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2012, 19:34

      Ah, well just think that if he makes an impression he will probably drop by at the Austin GP or the Brazil GP so they can give him a nice party for old times sake. And who knows @damonsmedley, maybe he will be hailed as a champion!

  13. Fixy (@fixy) said on 1st March 2012, 16:24

    I thought some time ago it wouldn’t happen as he had said he wouldn’t race on ovals, but now it makes sense to race all season. I really wish the best for Rubens and I hope he can be as successful in IndyCar as he was in F1 (maybe a bit more :P ).

  14. Fred Schechter said on 1st March 2012, 16:30

    It was so great to see him out there Saturday (clearly the video is from Sunday, there were a bucketload of humans Saturday, Sunday was a private test). He obviously was going even faster Sunday. They were going faster than last year’s quali speeds. Since I’ve still never been to an F1 race, this was my first time watching him live. Such a delight. Definitely more use of the car and the team looked very comfortable with him on Saturday (it was his 2nd test with them). So excited he’s here!! He’ll be fine on the ovals people, relax, remember 326 races, 322 starts, 11 wins, and 2nd in the championship twice, and third another 2 times. Rubens will be just fine. I’ll be putting my money down with the punters for a championship like when Nigel was here. Go Rubens!!!!!!!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2012, 19:36

      It was really nice in the press conference hearing the team owners talk about it. I think it was Vasser who said that he didn’t even know why Rubens got into Kanaan’s car at the first test. And bang he got the fastest lap of all runners out of it!

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