F1

Barrichello supports new qualifying

Rubens Barrichello has been in Brazil for several weeks now, having enjoyed himself at the Ferrari Days event in Misano the week after the final race of the 2002 season in Japan. "Misano was a great way to end the racing year in front of all...

Rubens Barrichello has been in Brazil for several weeks now, having enjoyed himself at the Ferrari Days event in Misano the week after the final race of the 2002 season in Japan.

"Misano was a great way to end the racing year in front of all our fans and the atmosphere was fantastic," said the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. Since then, I have been home in Brazil, having an enjoyable, but very busy time." One weekend was dedicated to the Paulista's first love, karting, as he took part in the country's most famous 500 mile endurance race. It is a traditional end of season event, and it seems that winning is also part of the tradition as the Ferrari man, teamed up with Tony Kanaan and Felipe Massa, won it for the fourth time.

Race winners Rubens Barrichello, Tony Kanaan and Felipe Massa.
Photo by Ferrari Media Center.
"It sounds like an easy sort of competition, but every champion from every category of racing in Brazil gets together the best equipment and drivers to try and win," explained Barrichello. "Just like with Ferrari, part of the secret of our success was our good preparation which meant that throughout the 500 miles race we never broke a single part, even though I had a collision with another kart, which dropped me to eighth of the 64 runners."

Apart from karting and spending time on the golf course, there has been the occasional work commitment such as media interviews and a promotional event for Fiat. However, this weekend sees a change of pace, as Barrichello takes part in a competition where engines are not involved. "I am competing in a triathlon race; running, swimming and cycling" revealed the Brazilian, who evidently likes to keep busy all the time. "Running is probably my strongest discipline out of the three and swimming the weakest. I had 20 lessons and pretty much stopped swimming when I was six! But I'm looking forward to it."

Rubens has been training hard for this, spending a long weekend with friends in the very hot north of the country, in preparation for the triathlon. "I have actually lost more weight now than I did during the season," he said. "Physically, I'm in great shape, for whenever I have to get back in a Formula 1 car, although I am not sure when that will be."

Rubens Barrichello.
Photo by Shell Motorsport.
Barrichello has been keeping in touch with his Ferrari colleagues back in Italy as well studying the changes to the F1 regulations, which come into effect from the start of the 2003 season. "The one lap for qualifying is a good idea," admitted the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. "Not just because of the enjoyment of having to put 101% effort into the single lap, but also because we will be alone on the track with no traffic. It was getting to a point in several qualifying sessions where we often had problems running with other cars on their warm up or slow down laps."

"It will be interesting to see how it works out, because there is always the chance that it might rain for part of the qualifying hour, even if that was not the case very often in the past. Once in a while, I guess it will shake up what we have come to accept as the usual grid order and that will certainly make the race fun for the spectators. I think this will also mean more people will be interested in coming to the track on Friday and Saturday."

-ferrari-

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