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October 15, 2009

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Barrichello in Williams talks

BRAWN GP driver Rubens Barrichello said on Tuesday he was in talks with Williams and was sure to remain in Formula One next season.

The Brazilian denied, however, he had already signed a deal with Williams, saying he was also in discussions to renew with his present team.

"That it's true there are talks with Williams and with Brawn, there's no doubt. But that I haven't signed any papers, I can also say I haven't," 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," he told reporters in Sao Paulo.

"Today I feel very honored 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 British teammate Jenson Button, must win his home grand prix on Sunday to carry the title decision 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 on Sunday.

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 leads the constructors' championship this season, whereas Williams is sixth.

Privileged stage

"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, at 37 the oldest driver in Formula One who has raced in a record 286 grands prix, 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 Barrichello, twice title runner-up with Ferrari.

His career could have ended when Honda withdrew from Formula One last season but Brawn has given him a new lease of life with its good results in 2009.

Williams, which currently has Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima as its drivers, meanwhile, will have a new engine supplier next season after its contract with Toyota was ended.

An extension of the Toyota deal was signed earlier this year but it was mutually agreed to end the deal.

Toyota Motorsport Chairman Tadashi Yamashina said yesterday: "We respect the wishes of Williams to look for other opportunities and wish them well for the future."

Renault and Cosworth are considered the most likely contenders to supply Williams in 2010.

Williams had used Toyota engines since 2007, but never won a race with them. Team principal Sir Frank Williams said he appreciated Toyota stepping in at a time of "great difficulty" after a series of reliability failures when using Cosworth engines in 2006.

Cosworth will also be providing engines to four new teams in 2010.


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