F1 veteran Barrichello signs up for IndyCar series

Rubens Barrichello has turned to the IndyCar series after a record-breaking career in Formula One.

Story highlights

  • F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello to race in IndyCar series in 2012
  • Barrichello has made a record number of F1 starts at 322
  • The 39-year-old Brazilian joins KV Racing Technology
  • He will debut at season-opener in Florida on March 26

Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello is to race in the IndyCar series in 2012, the Brazilian announced Thursday.

The 39-year-old Barrichello will take his place in the KV Technology team for the season-opening race in St Petersburg, Florida on March 25.

He will join 2004 IndyCar Series winner Tony Kanaan, who has signed a new two-year deal with the team, and E.J. Viso of Venezuela in a strong line-up.

Kanaan finished fifth in last year's championship, which was overshadowed by the death of British driver Dan Wheldon in the final race of the season in Las Vegas.

"I am thrilled, it is something very new to me," said Barrichello, whose move to IndyCar was in the offing after he having to trial test sessions recently.

"Despite all my experience I will start as a rookie, but I think I will get better as the year progresses," he added.

Barrichello has set the record for F1 starts in a career spanning 1993-2011, claiming 11 victories and finishing runner-up in the drivers' championship in 2002 and 2004 to Ferrari teammate Michael Schumacher.

    Last season he drove for Williams, but lost his place for 2012 to fellow Brazilian Bruno Senna, the nephew of F1 legend Ayrton Senna.

    Barrichello is a long-time friend of his 37-year-old compatriot Kanaan, who is delighted he has decided to compete in IndyCar.

    "I have a guy who has 19 years of experience in Formula One; one of the best drivers I've ever seen as a teammate that I can learn a lot and he can learn a lot from me racing on the ovals.

    "For the series it's huge. We're getting a guy who has the most grand prix races completed in history."

    Testing for the new season will take play at the Sebring International Raceway next week ahead of a 16-race campaign, including five on oval tracks.