Rubens Barrichello sampled an IndyCar DW12 for the first time

Ousted Williams F1 driver Rubens Barrichello had enjoyed his first day’s running behind the wheel of an IndyCar racer, with the Brazilian performing a two-day test with the KV Racing Technology team at Florida’s Sebring Raceway.

Formula 1’s most-experienced driver – whose 19-year Grand Prix career came to an end when Williams announced it had signed Bruno Senna in his place for the 2012 season – later took up the invitation from close friend Tony Kanaan to get behind the wheel of the IndyCar Series’ DW12 challenger.

His appearance prompted much speculation that the Brazilian would switch to North America’s premier open-wheel racing category, despite previous quotes attributed to the 39-year-old that he would not want to race on ovals.

“I’ve always wanted to test an IndyCar. I love speed so it’s natural to want to try this,” he told Brazil’s O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.

Barrichello heads out of the pits Barrichello laps Sebring
Barrichello enjoys the attention Barrichello

“I’m going into this test with my mind wide open. If I leave with the passion I have always had as a driver then why not? I love racing.”

While Barrichello’s outing garnered most of the media attention at today’s test, his appearance coincided with more pre-season running for other teams contesting this year’s IndyCar championship, as they look to gather crucial mileage in the new Dallara chassis being run in 2012.

[Images via LAT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.