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As a newcomer to the IndyCar series the winner of 8 F1 races wants a fresh start.
With 322 F1 races under his belt, a Formula 1 all-time record, eight wins and millions of dollars in the bank, Rubens Barrichello, the Brazilian ex-F1 driver is a newcomer to the IndyCar series. He is as competitive as ever but demands to be recognized as a rookie in his new series, IndyCar. Last week at a race in Alabama, Barrichello complained that drivers with experience of the series' tracks are recognized as rookies.
Barrichello never put a wheel on those IndyCar track surfaces, yet he has to suffer the agonies of a veteran. "I'm definitely a rookie," Barrichello was quoted at sport24.co.za. "I can see the likes of (Josef) Newgarden as a rookie. He's done Indy Lights. He knows the track, but he's a rookie because he's so young. (Simon) Pagenaud is a rookie but he has done races before. People are saying that I have 19 years of experience and I'm not a rookie. I don't want to run for the championship as a rookie. But when I go to Long Beach - let's say I finish Top 10 here - I don't know the track.
I don't know the car very well, and maybe I only have an hour and a half to try on the track. I think this is not right, because I am a rookie. I need that half-hour to learn the track." So far Barrichello completed two races, the first one he finished in 17th place and the second one in 8th. Although Barrichello's demand looks bizarre and out of place, it is not a precedent. In 1993, after winning the F1 world championship the year before, Nigel Mansell moved to CART (the IndyCar series predecessor). He was recognized as a rookie and won the CART championship as well as the CART Rookie of the Year.