Rubens Barrichello has said his enthusiasm for racing has been the key to him extending his career in Formula 1.
The Brazilian is already the most experienced driver in F1 history, and his switch to Williams next year should see him take his start tally well beyond the 300 grands prix mark. Although having come close to seeing his F1 career come to an end after Honda's withdrawal from the sport last December, Barrichello defied his critics with a world title challenge for Brawn this year as he took two race victories.
Speaking before the confirmation of his switch to Williams, Barrichello said that his mental attitude was the main factor in seeing him continue in F1.
"The most important thing is what you think of yourself," said Barrichello. "I've always paid attention more to that.
"When we talked in December [for an AUTOSPORT interview], people did write us off because we had a bad car. People always say you are only as good as your last race, and in the last race we looked crap at the end of last season and that was it.
"I knew that I had to keep in shape, I knew that I had a lot of speed in myself, and more than anything, I was selling to the team not just the experience, because the experience comes gratis, it is my enthusiasm. That is what pulled me up this season. I had to overcome all the six wins of Jenson, which was more difficult than actually waiting for the four months without a car, and when we finally found the problem with the brake balance and so on, we finally did it very well."
Although Barrichello missed out on the World Championship this year, having had the best chance of his career to land the title, he still thinks that 2009 was a good year for him.
"It was very positive," he said. "It is very, very easy to forget that I had no car to begin with. I think Jenson had a contract early on, but I only knew a few weeks before Australia, so I was physically prepared, but with all due respect, he was better prepared to start the season and that is how he won the championship."