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Barrichello refusing to treat Brazilian GP as his last

ESPNF1 Staff
November 23, 2011 « HRT 'hard against the clock' to make 2012 tests | Senna not boosted by Kubica news »
Rubens Barrichello: "I'm not going to say goodbye to people" © Sutton Images

Rubens Barrichello insists he will not approach this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix as if it is his last, despite uncertainty over his future.

Barrichello, who is the most experienced driver in the history of F1 with 321 starts to his name, is currently in limbo awaiting news about Williams' driver line-up for next year. 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen is in talks with the team, which is also considering younger drivers to line up alongside Pastor Maldonado, who is backed by money from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.

Barrichello believes he deserves to stay for a third season at Williams and is doing everything to try and make it happen.

"My mindset is positive," he is quoted by the Press Association ahead of his home grand prix. "I'm not going to say goodbye to people.

"After races like the last one in Abu Dhabi I deserve to still be in Formula One. I'm not doing it because of the money or because I want one more year in F1. I'm doing it because I enjoy it so much.

"I still think I am so competitive and deserve to be here - 20 years [in F1] at 40 years of age - I want to be there and I'm working my balls off for that to happen."

However, his compatriot Felipe Massa has advised him retire gracefully this weekend rather than scrabble together sponsorship money to pay for a drive.

"The advice I would give him is to stop," he was quoted by Globo Esporte. "In my opinion, Rubens has had an incredible time in Formula One, driven for the best teams and won races. Many drivers would love to have had his career.

"What I would advise is to stop racing, because of his team and everything that is happening in the category. There are 12 teams and at least six of them ask for money from their drivers. For the career that Rubens has had, I cannot see him ending this way, needing to pay to race in F1."