With ever-growing rumours that he will find himself dumped from the Williams line-up on the eve of his twentieth full-time season in Formula 1, recent comments from Rubens Barrichello could indicate he has come to the realisation that his F1 career could be over in just a few weeks.
The Brazilian had previously sounded bullish about his prospects of being retained by the Grove outfit for 2012 and beyond.
But now, key figureheads in the team are barely mentioning him in the context of next year’s driver line-up, and it would seem that the curtain has all but come down on the 39-year-old’s career. He is almost certain to be replaced by former world champion Kimi Räikkönen.
More recently, Barrichello may have come to this realisation himself, certainly on the basis of recent comments to TotalRace.
“During the weekend in India, I got a better understanding of the situation and I understand a bit why it is taking so long,” he said, when asked about why he was still in the dark over his F1 future.
“Unfortunately, I still have to wait.
“I want to race in Formula 1, 100 per cent. If not, then I have other options,” he continued. “People like [former F1 drivers] Luciano Burti and Olivier Panis tell me that life after Formula 1 can even be better.
“When the time comes, I will have the farewell party; I have too many relationships established to disappear from the sport in one moment.
“What will be, will be, but God willing, I will be on the grid next year,” he added.
Somehow, sadly, that looks like a long shot for Rubens…
[Image via Pilotoons]