SAO PAULO // The Brawn GP driver Rubens Barrichello has revealed he has held talks with Williams and will remain in Formula One next season. The Brazilian, however, denied he had already signed a deal with Williams, saying he was also in discussions to renew his contract with his present team. "That it's true there are talks with Williams and with Brawn, there's no doubt. But I haven't signed any papers," Barrichello said.
"I read about everything that's been said and made it quite clear that this is a very special moment for me in Formula One. "Today I feel very honoured that there are teams trying [for me], that there are teams I'm talking to and that my situation is a lot better than for some time." Barrichello, second in the drivers' championship 14 points behind teammate Jenson Button, must win his home Grand Prix on Sunday to realistically carry the title race over to the last race in Abu Dhabi.
Even that might not be enough since Button can lift the title with a race to spare if he comes in third or higher in Brazil. Barrichello, whose best Brazilian Grand Prix finish at Interlagos was third in 2004 with Ferrari, will base his decision about his future on the most competitive car. Brawn lead the constructors' championship this season. Williams are sixth. "I'm at a very privileged stage of my career in being able to choose the car in which I'll compete. I very much want a competitive car for next season," he said.
Barrichello, the oldest driver in Formula One at 37, has raced in a record 286 Grands Prix and believes he has reached the peak of his career. "It's my best season and the start of reaping things I sowed in the past," said the Brazilian, twice a title runner-up with Ferrari. Meanwhile, the Williams team have confirmed they are ending their engine partnership with Toyota after the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi, but have not announced who will be supplying them with engines in 2010.