Two F1 veterans think the sport’s longest-serving race driver deserves to know his plans for 2012 this weekend in Brazil. The 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix, not far from Rubens Barrichello’s birthplace and home, could pass this weekend without the 39-year-old knowing if it was his last in the sport.
After smashing the all-time record for the most grands prix contested by a single driver, that’s not fair on the grand prix winner and Williams driver, according to his friend Mark Webber. Earlier this week, Australian Webber visited Barrichello at his Sao Paulo home.
“Unfortunately he is in a bit of a bizarre situation in that (this weekend) could be his last race in F1 but no one actually knows whether it will be,” he wrote in his BBC column.
Former McLaren driver David Coulthard agrees it is “sad” that uncertainty shrouds what could be Barrichello’s last of an unprecedented 322 races.
“If this is to be the last we see of (Barrichello) in a cockpit it would be nice to be able to give him the respectful send-off he deserves,” he wrote in the Telegraph.
Barrichello’s countryman Felipe Massa said earlier this week that he should stop trying to find sponsorship to keep his Williams seat and just quit now.
“Should he?” wondered Coulthard. “Take the decision out of Williams’ hands and soak up the plaudits? I know what I would do – especially with the season Williams have just had – but then I’m not Rubens. If he honestly feels he still has something to offer then he should stay. I just wish we knew one way or another.”