Rubens Barrichello gets rookie status
Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello will get some of the benefits of other first-year IndyCar drivers.
IndyCar said Monday that Barrichello will receive an extra set of tires and be allowed to practice in Group 1 of the first session along with other rookie drivers at road/street courses where he hasn't tested. He will get the extra tires and track time at all ovals.
The Brazilian driver will have to complete the Rookie Orientation Program like all drivers competing in the Indianapolis 500 for the first time.
Barrichello is a 19-year veteran of Formula One, who won 11 races and made a record 322 starts. He has argued that he is "definitely a rookie" because he's unfamiliar with most tracks. He won't be eligible for rookie of the year honors.
Barrichello is scheduled to take his oval rookie test on May 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, the day before the Open Test. He tested at Infineon Raceway Monday.
He is tied with Dario Franchitti at No. 10 in the points standings after two races. He finished 17th at St. Petersburg and eighth in the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Drivers outside the Top 10 and rookies get the extra set of tires and 30 more minutes on the track.
Beaux Barfield, IndyCar's president of competition, had earlier determined that Barrichello was not a rookie based on past precedent and the level of experience.
Barrichello joined best friend Tony Kanaan on the KV Racing Technology team this season.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press