Rubinho to IndyCars?

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With the continuing rumors of Rubens Barrichello’s exit from Honda Racing F1 next year, speculation regarding the Brazilian’s future has been rampant in the South American country’s national media.

Originally most scenarios pointed to the most experienced driver in Formula 1 history returning home to race in Copa Nextel Stock Car, the top racing series in Brazil, which already features ex-F1 men Antonio Pizzonia, Luciano Burti and Tarso Marques on its grid. Both Stock Car and F1 are Globo TV products in the country, and the media giant would be keen to have Barrichello’s popularity helping to boost Stock Car’s TV ratings.

A different possibility has emerged, however. According to motorsports portal Grande Premio, Barrichello is now set to test an Indy car in November, possibly at the Homestead road course.

Arranged by IndyCar engine supplier Honda, the test would put Barrichello in a Team Penske car– Roger Penske’s outfit has yet to announce its 2009 lineup, and given the uncertainty regarding Helio Castroneves’ future in the wake of the two-time Indy 500 winner’s tax indictment, it’s likely to be among the last to confirm its drivers for next year.

Honda F1’s ’09 lineup also remains up in the air. Team CEO Nick Fry has made no secret of his desire to woo Fernando Alonso to partner Jenson Button, but even if he’s unsuccessful, other names are apparently ahead of Barrichello in the fight for the second seat, including Bruno Senna and, if Renault indeed drops him, Nelson Piquet. Longtime Williams sponsor Petrobras will migrate to Honda next year, raising the likelihood that Button’s ’09 teammate will be a Brazilian national.

Barrichello, meanwhile, is a lifetime friend of Florida residents Tony Kanaan and Christian Fittipaldi, and has spent vacation time with the duo in Miami on several occasions in the past.

So, are Rubens’ days as a Formula 1 driver numbered? Will the proposed test of an IndyCar go well?

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One Response to “Rubinho to IndyCars?”

  1. F1Fan Says:

    This is absurd, he is old, and not a good driver for years.. hehe

    Also, from what I read It’s RUBINHO not Rubino

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