Barrichello under fire
Former Ferrari ace set for relegation
Last Updated: 30/10/07 5:14pm
Barrichello: Under pressure
Honda are preparing to relegate the 'past-it' Rubens Barrichello to their 'B-team' Super Aguri next season.
Although the Brazilian has a contract with the Brackley outfit for the 2008 season, F1 Racing Magazine claims that the team has lost faith in the 35-year-old after he was comprehensively out-raced by Jenson Button during the second half of the 2007 campaign.
The magazine cites Barrichello's undistinguished performance in China - where he finished in 15th place, 10 positions behind Button - as being the breaking point in their relationship.
It claims that 'the team's engineers, in particular, have become frustrated by what they see as a lack of effort on their driver's part' and quotes one mechanic grumbling in Shanghai, "We think he got scared. It's about time he retired, isn't it?"
Confidence in Barrichello has also reputedly dried up amongst the team's hierarchy.
'Many F1 insiders now feel that, like fellow veterans Alex Wurz, Ralf Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella, Rubens has passed his sell-by date.
"What's new is that many Honda insiders now feel the same way,' the magazine reports.
'There is a growing faction within Honda that favours relegating Barrichello to Super Aguri for 2008. Crucially, Rubens no longer has the support within Honda of his friend and countryman Gil de Ferran, who resigned as sporting director in July of this year."