Rubens Barrichello at Infineon Raceway - INDYCAR photoEnlarge Photo
The Brazilian Formula 1 ace spent last weekend testing the team's Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone Indy car on the daunting Infineon Raceway Sears Point road course in Sonoma, CA.
While Barrichello was learning more about the Indy car, his financial team was apparently working toward a viable sponsorship deal that would see the former Williams F1 driver on the grid at the first race in St Petersburg, FL on March 25.
If the local Estado de S. Paulo newspaper is correct, Barrichello, 39, will join countryman Tony Kanaan and recently announced Venezuelan EJ Viso, returning for a third year with KVRT, as teammates for the full INDYCAR season.
According to the paper, Barrichello has lined up support from Brasil Maquinas for a reported figure just shy of $3 million. The heavy construction equipment rental company was negotiating with Williams F1 throughout the winter on Barrichello's behalf before Bruno Senna got that ride. Brasil Maquinas sponsor a local stock car team in the Sao Paulo area, the report confirms.
If these news items are founded in basis, they remove the final impediment to Rubens Barrichello joining the KV Racing Technology squad for his first year in US-based open wheel racing. In his 19-year F1 career, Barrichello has 11 victories in 322 starts and was world championship runner-up twice for Ferrari, in 2002 and 2004.
The team has scheduled a press conference in Brazil for Thursday at 2PM ET to announce further details of its 2012 driver lineup.