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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 07:27 GMT
Barrichello determined to race on
By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at Honda HQ

Rubens Barrichello
Barrichello will become the most experienced F1 driver ever this year
Honda driver Rubens Barrichello wants to carry on racing despite being out of contract at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old is entering his 16th season after a difficult 2007 when he did not win a single point but insists retirement is not an option.

"I don't think this is my last year," said Barrichello. "I don't have any contract signed yet but I feel good.

"I feel I am going to stop before someone tells me to and if I don't feel competitive then is the time to stop."

The Brazilian believes his former Ferrari team-mate, Michael Schumacher, ended his career too soon at the end of the 2006 season.

And, while Barrichello is still enjoying his time on the track, he does not intend to make the same mistake.

For me this year is a new start, it is the excitement of a new era

Rubens Barrichello
"With Michael, in all honesty, he probably stopped one year too soon," said Barrichello.

"I will race as long as I physically can and I haven't reached the peak of my physical performance yet.

"Last season was something we had to go through but I always thought that I could make points in every race.

"For me it is a new start, it is the excitement of a new era."

The Brazilian is also closing in on Riccardo Patrese's record of 256 Grand Prix starts this season but because of the complexities of some of the F1 rules, he is not sure at which race he is likely to surpass the mark.

Honda claim Barrichello has 249 starts, since making his debut in 1993, whereas other books have him down for 250.

Nonetheless, the 35-year-old is looking forward to reaching the landmark.


"I think the maximum starts I have would be 253 so it will be Barcelona or Turkey," Barrichello said.

"I need to know because I am going to paint something different on the helmet. I just need to know which race I have to bring it to."

Meanwhile, Barrichello's team-mate, Jenson Button, has confirmed he will open his contract talks later in the 2008 season.

The British driver had threatened to be "ruthless" if he did not see some improvement with Honda in the season ahead, but with the arrival of new team boss, Ross Brawn, he is confident progress will be made.

"At the end of this year, I'm sure we'll be talking," said Button, 28.

"I want to see improvement in all areas. I never had an option to not be here this season. But I wasn't really thinking about that because I know that Honda want the same thing as me.

"I think Honda has to be the team to be with in the future, it has everything now.

"We have a great technical direction with Ross and that is going to make a big difference to the team. I am very happy where I am."

Honda driven to reverse decline
29 Jan 08 |  Formula One
Button to get Brawn treatment
29 Jan 08 |  Formula One
Button excited by Brawn's arrival
16 Nov 07 |  Formula One
Brawn tempted by Honda challenge
12 Nov 07 |  Formula One


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