Barrichello fighting fit for 2003

Barrichello fighting fit for 2003

Rubens Barrichello has not been idling away his time over the winter at home in Brazil, but has been keeping fit ready for the new season. The Ferrari driver took part in a triathlon, comprising of running, cycling and swimming, and thoroughly ...

Rubens Barrichello has not been idling away his time over the winter at home in Brazil, but has been keeping fit ready for the new season. The Ferrari driver took part in a triathlon, comprising of running, cycling and swimming, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

"I have done a lot of training during the weeks I've spent in Brazil," Barrichello said at a press conference for the Ferrari ski weekend in Madonna di Campiglio. "Friends persuaded me to take part in a triathlon and I have to say it was a fantastic experience. I had not swam so far for many years, although I do a lot of cycling and I love running."

"I would like to pursue this sport and maybe aim for the olympic distance. But I don't think I would take part in the "Ironman" event which would involve too much preparation and keep me away from my family."

Rubens Barrichello.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
Barrichello enjoys the Ferrari annual winter event and despite being cautious about risking injury, has a fun weekend: "This year, I will try snowboarding. I think it's fun but I don't want to hurt myself just now. I am here mainly because this is traditionally the first engagement of the season, to meet the press and friends from the team and sponsors after the winter break. And it is always a great event where I have a good time."

The Brazilian hasn't seen the new F2003, which is due to make its track debut in February, but is eager to get back in action: "I have thought a lot about the new car and Maranello kept me updated all the time with positive feedback. However, I have not yet seen the new car. I prefer to let it take me by surprise at the presentation. I am very motivated and cannot wait to get back behind the wheel."

"First off, I would like to have a better start to the season than last year," he continued, speaking of his goals for this year. "As for the rest, it is natural to always want to do better in life. The important thing is to keep one's feet on the ground, think positively and show grit and determination. I hope to win a lot of races and as for the rest, we will have to wait and see. It will be difficult to score as many points as in 2002, but if we win the title with less points, that will suit us just as well."

Barrichello is in favour of the new one-flying lap qualifying system and thinks qualifying is one of his strong points. "I like the new system a lot and I am sure it will be more spectacular for everyone. I think qualifying has always been one of my strong points. Obviously the drivers will be more tense, given that it will no longer be possible to abort a run after a mistake. It will also require a sizeable piece of luck. But at the end of the day, I reckon the best drivers will still do better than the others."

He also approves of the changes to the points allocation, where the top eight will now be rewarded for finishing, and believes the title will not be won so quickly in 2003 as it was last season.

"If a driver wins five races and another is always second, there is only a gap of ten points between them. That means that if the leading driver posts a retirement and the other one wins, the gap will be made up. I am convinced that the next championship will not be over by Hungary."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello
Teams Ferrari