Atlas F1 News Service

Barrichello Defends Himself

Friday May 11th, 2001

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello believes he is doing the best job possible at the Ferrari team, adding his future with the Italian outfit does not depend on his performance in the next few races.

Barrichello, in his second season with the world champion team, has been subject to all kinds of rumours concerning his future with Ferrari, but the 28-year old Brazilian remains calm as he believes no other driver could do a better job alongside Michael Schumacher.

"You can put whoever you want here, and I'm certain he wouldn't do a better job than me," Barrichello said in an interview with Agencia Estado. "My future with Ferrari doesn't depend on my performances in the next races. What I had to prove, I've already proved it to them."

Sauber's Kimi Raikkonen was, according to rumours, one of the favourites to replace Barrichello if he left the team when his contract expired at the end of this season. However, the Brazilian dismissed the rumours about Raikkonen and also about Toyota's interest in hiring him.

"To the best of my knowledge this story (Raikkonen's) is a lie, and I doubt Ferrari would take the risk of hiring such a young driver," he added. "My grandfather asked me if I was going to move from Ferrari to Toyota. They've made up that story, I don't know anyone at Toyota."

Barrichello, who finished fourth in last year's championship after scoring his maiden Grand Prix win in Germany, also admitted being Schumacher's team mate at Ferrari is not an easy job, but he reckons the triple world champion is not unbeatable.

"I'm not like Eddie Irvine, who thinks he (Schumacher) is unbeatable," Barrichello said. "But most drivers have highs and lows, except Michael, he only has highs."

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