Rubens Barrichello expects close friend Felipe Massa to remain in Formula 1 for many years to come, despite the Ferrari driver's visit to last weekend's IndyCar event in Sao Paulo fueling speculation that he could be looking at switching series.
Massa is fighting for his F1 future at Ferrari, with he and his team well aware that he must deliver strong results this year if he is to remain with the squad in 2013. But after scoring just two points in the first four races – 41 less than teammate Fernando Alonso – there are continued question marks about his position, and the latest speculation is linking Mark Webber with a drive at Ferrari once again.
Massa's appearance at the Sao Paulo IndyCar event at the weekend prompted talk that he could follow Barrichello's lead by moving to IndyCars, although he denies that.
Barrichello said that he was full of confidence that Massa continued to have a strong future in F1, and said his visit to Sao Paulo was purely social.
"He came here because I invited him," explained Barrichello. "It was a pleasure to receive him.
"He stayed on the pit wall with the team radio, living a totally different experience compared to F1. And different to what many people think, he was not here looking for a job. This guy will race a lot more in F1."
Barrichello said his conversations with Massa over the weekend did not give him any indication that his fellow Brazilian was worried about his F1 future.
"To face a problem, you have to smile and be happy with yourself before handling the situation. The important thing is what is inside him, and he seems relaxed. He was happy to be here."