Why Barrichello is a hit in IndyCar

Why Barrichello is a hit in IndyCar

The results from Rubens Barrichello's first four IndyCar races don't tell the whole story of his transition to America. Mark Glendenning explains why the F1 veteran will be IndyCar's next big hero

The vast expanse of the exhibition centre that doubled as the IndyCar paddock in Sao Paulo played havoc with the acoustics. As a result, it took a moment or two for the freakish wail that suddenly arose – a disembodied, otherworldly shriek that sounded like a distant seance taking a spooky turn – to make sense.

A quick jog towards the source of the uproar, past Ganassi on the left, past Penske on the right, revealed a group of maybe a hundred fans, camera phones aloft. Trying to navigate his way through them was Rubens Barrichello, equipped with motor scooter, a bemused grin, and the stare all Formula 1 drivers adopt (which allows them to look just over the right shoulder of dozens of people simultaneously). Within a few moments he had reached the sanctuary of the barrier that segregated the fans from the race control area and disappeared into the drivers' briefing room, leaving behind a gaggle of locals high-fiving each other in delight at their momentary brush with royalty.

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