Rubens in Indycar – How is he going to do?

This topic contains 25 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Keith Collantine 5 years, 7 months ago.

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    Pretty self explainatory this one. We all know that Rubens is a fantastic racing driver. He’s forgotten more about driving racing cars than most people will ever learn, so I can’t help but be excited about his chances in Indycar this year! The introduction of the DW12 chassis is bound to level the playing field, so I’m expecting a shake up in the pecking order for a little while (as happened in F1 in 2009). This seems to be the best chance of Rubens switching to the sport and making a big impact immediately by grabbing some good results early.

    Also, we know that Rubens is a proven race winner who still has a pretty tasty turn of speed. Having seen some of the F1 drivers who have switched to Indycar having not set the world alight in F1 but who have enjoyed a fair amount of success in Indycars (e.g. Justin Wilson) I can’t help but think Rubens will be a success.




    Go Rubens! I might actually watch Indy Car this year. Not sure if I’ll watch the oval races, but the road tracks should be interesting. It would be pretty funny if he won the title and beat all of the best drivers in America straight after being let go by Williams!


    Keith Collantine

    Barrichello’s chosen a great time to move with the new cars and engine formula.

    My main concern is there was some talk of the new chassis not being good for right-foot-brakers which could be bad news for him (and, interestingly, Dario Franchitti) so keep an eye on that one.

    That aside, based on how well Sato went on occasion last year I think we should expect Barrichello to be contending for victories in his first year and maybe even have a pop at the title – especially with their being only five of 16 rounds on ovals.

    @damonsmedley Make sure you watch Milwaukee, the one-milers are usually fun. I’m very keen to see how they get on at Fontana as well.


    Does Rubens still right foot brake? Seriously? I thought he’d transferred over to left-foot braking in the early 2000s?

    How can you right-foot brake in a single-seater anyway? The time it takes to go from one pedal to another must make a significant difference to overall laptimes.


    Keith Collantine

    @magnificent-geoffrey I don’t remember reading he’d switched but I could be wrong.

    Right-foot braking can be useful for fuel saving and that’s been a significant strength of Franchitti’s.



    Left foot bracking is so hard! I tried that and it didn’t work out :-D
    Knowing that even drivers like Rubens brake with their right foot, just like me, makes me fell better (even though they probably do it as an option while in my case is a lack of ability).



    @magnificent-geoffrey @keithcollantine

    Rubens still right-foot brakes. It gives him a lot of advantage in race pace because you have less fuel consumption – there is always a few milliseconds at least where the brake and throttle is getting overlapped; if you left foot brake – that takes up a LOT of fuel.

    Rubens to dominate the 2012 IndyCar season that will put Sebastian Vettel’s domination of 2011 F1 to shame :P



    Yeah @magnificent-geoffrey Rubens still right-foot brakes. It’s very strange to think that he would but there you go.

    I saw an article a few years back that had a comparison between MSC and Rubens telemetry during their time at Ferrari, and it showed that Rubens was always significantly slower onto the brakes and significantly slower onto the throttle because he was only using his right foot. Well, when I say significantly, it was always a few hundredths of a second, but it adds up over the course of a lap.


    @geemac Yeah, that article is exactly what I was thinking of too. I thought I’d read some years ago that he’d made an effort to switch to left-foot braking because it was genuinely faster, as proved by the telemetry.

    Never considered that right-foot braking made that much difference to fuel consumption.



    I suppose it is a natural aide to the “lift and coast” method the drivers use to save fuel (i.e. lift off the throttle, wait a little bit, then brake) but I have to admit I’d never though of that either!



    When he was last on The Flying Lap, I remember him mentioning that he can both RFB and LFB which can serve him in both when he needs the speed or when he needs to conserve fuel. It’s certainly not a bad thing to be adept at both!



    I think Rubens could be in contention for a couple wins this season but I don’t think he has a shot at the title. It may only be five ovals, but if he doesn’t show well it’s going to kill his championship. The top three were incredibly close last year and small mistakes added up to that difference.

    I think he’ll take a couple races to get used to it but should be competitive from Long Beach on.


    Joel Holland

    How good is Rubens? Better than Franchitti, Power, Kannan and Dixon? I’m not sure. He’s arguably their equal, but I can’t see him going over there and immediately kicking the lot of them into touch at their own game.

    Aside from Power those guys all have a decade+ American open-wheel experience, and Power is, in my most humble opinion, a more naturally gifted racing driver than Rubens anyway. If he gets a few podiums he’ll have done very well, and I think he’d agree with that statement.


    Adam Tate

    I agree on the chances of him getting a few podiums, but I will be hoping for at least a win or two to shake things up.

    And you never know, when Mansell made the switch he was expected to dominate, he did so, but was actually more successful on the ovals than the road courses. Rubens could do the same and take to them like a fish does to water :)


    Joel Holland

    But it’s worth remembering that Mansell joined the reigning champions; Rubens is at a team who only managed a handful of podiums last season with one of the best drivers in the series. If Rubens was joining Penske or Ganassi you’d have to expect podiums and wins, but given that those two field seven cars between them, six of whom are fast, podiums for Rubens becomes a VERY tough ask.

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