Ferrari has extended Rubens Barrichello's contract for a further two years, ending the recent speculation surrounding the Brazilian's future. Last year Ferrari announced the extension of contracts with Michael Schumacher, team principal Jean Todt,...
Ferrari has extended Rubens Barrichello's contract for a further two years, ending the recent speculation surrounding the Brazilian's future. Last year Ferrari announced the extension of contracts with Michael Schumacher, team principal Jean Todt, technical director Ross Brawn, engine manager Paolo Martinelli and designer Rory Byrne until the end of 2006 but no mention was made of Barrichello at that time.Ferrari in 2000, after the departure of Eddie Irvine, and won his first Grand Prix in Germany the same year. He now has seven victories in his career, the most recent being at Suzuka in 2003.
"I'm very proud," said Barrichello about his new contract. "I have done this at the right moment in my career and it is another step forward. Clearly Ferrari are happy with my work and I am happy here with Ferrari. Another two years is not a question of security because there is still a lot of work to do."
"There were others interested in me, but I was always confident I would stay at Maranello because I have learned many important things here in becoming a true Formula One driver. At the start it was all about determination, passion and speed. It was Ferrari who taught me how to use my head and I can safely say that my life as a driver began here. I know I am a lucky man."
With a new contract under his belt, the Brazilian is aiming to have at least one title to his name in the next couple of years: "I expect to win races and I expect to fulfill my dream which is winning a world championship -- at least one," he said. "By signing the contract I have at least another three chances of winning the championship."
The Brazilian's future with Ferrari was uncertain after the team did not announce the extension of his contract at the same time as the others. Many believed Ferrari was looking for a new, younger driver to work alongside Schumacher to prepare for when the six-time champion retires.
However, most of the highly regarded talent is tied up in deals until at least the end of 2005 and some even further. Barrichello's new contract will come as a source of disappointment for some drivers who were hoping the delay would give them a chance of a Ferrari future some time soon.