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'Senna still has F1 future'

March 10, 2009 11:53 IST

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello moved to console compatriot Bruno Senna on Monday after beating him to the last remaining seat in Formula One with the Brawn GP team.

Barrichello, the sport's most experienced driver who was close to Senna's uncle Ayrton before the triple champion died at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, said the youngster has an obvious future in the sport.

He added that he had tried in vain to speak to him since the team's decision last week and had left a message on his answering machine.

"We're good friends, and although we haven't talked for the past couple of months when we've been fighting for a position, it has nothing to do with us," Barrichello told reporters after the test debut of the new Brawn car.

"It was sheer coincidence that we ended up at the same place at the same time.

"But I wish him all the very best. For someone who has three or four years of experience, he has done fantastically well and he has a future in Formula One," added the 36-year-old.

"I haven't seen anyone just yet with the capability of running for three years in cars, and all of a sudden getting to Formula One and doing so well like he did in testing," he told reporters.

"I'm just lucky that at this time Formula One has changed a little bit, and because of the lack of testing, it is going to more experienced [drivers] again but I wish him all the very best."


Formula One has outlawed testing during the season as part of cost-cutting measures, putting more of a premium on experience.

Barrichello's Formula One career had looked over at the end of last season and Honda, who sold their team to Ross Brawn, made any comeback even less likely when they announced in December that they were pulling out.

Until that point, they had been testing Senna along with Britain's Jenson Button.

Barrichello, with 270 starts under his belt, worked closely with Brawn when the Briton was Ferrari technical director and the Brazilian was team mate to Michael Schumacher.

Switzerland's Sebastien Buemi, with Toro Rosso, will be the only rookie on the starting grid in the season starting in Australia on March 29.

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