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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 11:10 GMT
Barrichello keen for new deal
Ferrari drivers Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher
Rubens Barrichello is keen to stay with Ferrari and Michael Schumacher
Rubens Barrichello wants to agree a extension to his Ferrari contract before the start of the new season.

The Brazilian's deal with the champions runs out at the end of 2004 but he is eager to stay on alongside Michael Schumacher.

"I have created a situation everyone thought was impossible to have at Ferrari with Michael Schumacher," he said.

"I have the same status as Michael and am very happy here."

Barrichello won two races in 2003 at Silverstone and Suzuka and ended the season fourth overall after being runner-up in 2002.

Although the team are expected to wait until Schumacher's long-term plans are clearer before committing themselves, Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt sounded positive about the Brazilian.

"We are very happy with him," he admitted "He has improved a lot with the team and we don't see any particular reason not to move forward as we are."

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo told Italian reporters this week that Barrichello had a strong case for staying with the team.

"I don't see anyone around who is better than Rubens, somebody who has had two exceptional years and took a crucial win at Suzuka," he said.

"We have a contract to the end of 2004 but we are talking about it. At the right moment we will sign."


F1 REVIEW 2003

SCHUMI'S RECORD YEAR

PHOTO GALLERIES

EVERY TEAM ANALYSED
 

EACH DRIVER PROFILED
 

2003 SEASON RACE BY RACE
 

A LAP OF ALL THE CIRCUITS
 


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