As much as we like Rubens, a return to Formula 1 with Sauber, given the team’s current situation, seemed like a non-story at the onset but AUTOSPORT says he had a wad of cash and that there was merit to the story. I believe them, they have a way of being right all the time. I also believed, yesterday, that Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborm was kind enough to take the high road when asked about Barrichello.
It seemed odd that a team in the financial situation that Sauber is in would opt for Barrichello even if head some cash with him. We didn’t run the story because, quite honestly, it didn’t’ seem like a feasible option for Sauber and Monisha’s comments seemed to be platitudes which some took as an open door. Today, she was a little more frank with her view:
“I am ruling out that he would drive for us. Maybe it is better if one is that clear about it,” Kaltenborn was quoted as saying by Reuters.
“I have a lot of respect for Rubens, and I didn’t think it was right that I just so abruptly say ‘No, we are not going to talk.'”
Rubens is a great guy but this story seemed to be weak-kneed to begin with and I appreciate Monisha trying to comment while not risking any damage to Barrichello’s reputation or possible marketability in the F1 paddock. If she would have said, “there’s no way in hell that’s going to happen”, it would not be good for the Barrichello brand in and outside of F1.
We like Rubens a lot but we also think F1 may not be the snake pit Rubens wants to get back into as things have changed over the two years he’s been away and the financial times are even more difficult. Then again, being in F1 during tough times is probably better than being in Brazilian stock car racing in tough times.