Rubens Barrichello has revealed that his wife gave him her blessing on his decision to race on ovals in the IZOD IndyCar Series this year.
The 39-year-old veteran of Formula 1 has been quoted in the past as saying that he would never race on ovals because his wife, Silvana, was against the idea. However, following the announcement on Thursday that Barrichello will race full time in IndyCar for KV Racing, the 11-time grand prix winner confirmed that his wife had no problem with his decision.
"She knows I'm happy – she can see it in my eyes so she is happy for me," the Brazilian told reporters on a teleconference from Brazil. "It was kind of funny – my kids helped big time. But she was fine."
Barrichello explained that he called on his children to bring the subject up with their mother in the hope of persuading her that he could race on ovals.
"What happened was that one day we were watching an oval race and there was a crash," he said. "She looked at me and said, 'You're never going to do that, are you?' I said I didn't plan to because I hoped that I'd race in Formula 1 for 25 years.
"My kids wanted to see Daddy race on ovals, so we had fun together. It was a setup. I briefed the boys and they went to Mom. They asked if it was true she didn't want me to race on ovals and she said, 'I would rather have him race on normal circuits.' Then all three of us said: 'Luckily, Mom doesn't tell us what to do!' It was funny."
The most experienced driver in Formula 1 history added that he has always been fascinated by oval racing.
"Whenever we were talking about Indy, in the back of my mind I always wanted to know what the experience is like, what goes through the mind of a driver at such a speed," he said. "With all my experience, I have no idea how to set up a car on an oval."
Barrichello's first experience of an oval will come in a test at Texas Motor Speedway. His first oval race will be the Indianapolis 500.