Barrichellos Seat Safe
May 4, 2001 | 10:00 A.M. EST
Barrichello started the season with a pair of second-place finishes in Australia and Malaysia, but that was about as good as it would get.
Since then he has complained about preferential treatment of Michael Schumacher, refused to obey Ferrari’s gag-order and failed to finish three consecutive races.
Just when Barrichello thought things couldn’t get much worse, the rumors hit, and they hit hard. Word spread quickly through the paddocks and media that Ferrari was trying to woo Jenson Button, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kimi Raikkonen and even Jos Verstappen to join the team next year.
Ferrari team boss Jean Todt denied the rumors, however, and said Barrichello's seat is safe.
"Ferrari is happy with its drivers and, at the moment, is not talking to anybody," Todt said. "(Barrichello’s) performance this season has been excellent. In the last race he did not finish in the podium due to a problem with the car."
Both Barrichello's and Schumacher’s contracts with Ferrari expire at the end of next season.
Barrichello hasn't spoken much about his future.
"At the moment, I have nothing to say about my future," he said. "I am concentrating totally on the work I am doing with the team. When it will be the right moment, I will think about my future."