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Exclusive Rubens Barrichello Q&A: Change is a good thing 12 Feb 2010

Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Valencia, Spain, Tuesday 2 February 2010. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32. Formula One Testing, Day One, Valencia, Spain, Monday 1 February 2010. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32. Formula One Testing, Day One, Valencia, Spain, Monday 1 February 2010. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32. Formula One Testing, Day One, Valencia, Spain, Monday 1 February 2010. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32. Formula One Testing, Day One, Valencia, Spain, Monday 1 February 2010.

Nico Robserg and Rubens Barrichello have swapped seats this season, with Rosberg moving to Mercedes (formerly Brawn) and Barrichello taking the German’s seat at Williams. For both, the move means not just a new team but also a new engine, although it’s Barrichello, in his Cosworth-powered FW32, who may have tougher task. However, the Brazilian is hopeful the engine supplier’s three-year absence from Formula One racing has not dented his chances…

Q: Rubens, when did you know there wasn’t a future for you at Brawn?
Rubens Barrichello:
I took a decision before that, really. They were going to take too long and I liked the idea of going to Williams very much.

Q: Last season you blossomed. How hard was it to say goodbye to a team that made you a winner again?
RB:
Life is good, and we have to be thankful every day. It was a good four years together, as it was a good six years at Ferrari, but sometimes change is a good thing.

Q: When you were at Brawn the public policy was that both drivers were treated equally. Was that your experience in 2009?
RB:
It was. Early in the season I had brake problems and by the time I solved them - that was at the Silverstone race - Jenson (Button) never qualified ahead of me again. We were treated equally.

Q: What do you think about Michael Schumacher’s return? And have you got any advice for Nico Rosberg?
RB:
It was a surprise, for sure. I don’t have any real advice for Nico, and everything that was written about me having said this or that was said with a wink. I just wish him good luck.

Q: Were you surprised Ross Brawn decided to have an all-new driver line-up in 2010 and didn’t try harder to keep Jenson?
RB:
I think he tried really hard to keep Jenson.

Q: What is your verdict on the FW32?
RB:
It is hard to judge a car with lots of fuel. I like the team very much though. They are hard workers and I am sure they will give me a good car by the first race.

Q: When did you start to negotiate with Williams? Was it always definite that you’d race in 2010?
RB:
For sure the ’09 season is hard to top. And yes, it was always clear for me that I wanted to stay in F1 so we started to negotiate very early.

Q: Everybody is anxious to see how the Cosworth engine is doing…
RB:
It is doing well at the moment. I was able to complete almost 1,000 kilometres in two days at the Valencia test, and Nico (Hulkenberg) managed about the same mileage so far without any major issues. We need more time, for sure, but my feeling is that they will be very good.

Q: You will race alongside a rookie. Are you expected to be a winner or a tutor?
RB:
A winner for sure...

Q: The bigger fuel tank is one of the main changes this season. How does that feel?
RB:
It’s heavy for sure and it is a completely new challenge for us all. It will be interesting to see what different strategies the different teams come up with.

Q: Ross Brawn has said Mercedes will bring a major update to the first race. Is that what Williams are planning too?
RB:
I guess that is the plan for almost every team... I hope our upgrade is better than everyone else’s though!