Rubens Barrichello (Photo Credit: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic)

Rubens Barrichello (Photo Credit: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic)

Formula One veteran Rubens Barrichello will race for the KV Racing Technology team in the 2012 IndyCar series, it has been announced.

The 39-year-old Brazilian will make his IndyCar debut at the season opener on the 25th of March at the St. Petersburg street circuit. Barrichello will compete in 16 rounds of the championship, including five oval tracks. It had been believed that this would be the stumbling block in any potential deal, as Rubens had previously stated he promised his wife he would not race on the oval tracks.

“I watch [the IZOD IndyCar Series] all the time, so I'm very happy,” Barrichello told IndyCar.com. “IndyCar should not be seen as an alternative solution to Formula 1, but as a new challenge. The car has a dignity of its own, races take place on relatively short oval tracks (short oval and superspeedways) or on street circuits, there are less electronics than Formula One, the races are faster and the surrounding environment is more relaxed, the cars are all very similar and the number of modifications that the teams are permitted to make are limited, so it's the driver that makes the difference.”

“To be a winner in IndyCar you have to be a complete driver because you will have to compete under a whole range of conditions and in various configurations.”

Barrichello lost his F1 driver to countryman Bruno Senna at the Williams F1 team.

“This is a new experience, but I am very happy.  With all my experience I will start as a rookie, but I think I will get better as the year progresses. My main thing is to be an addition to KV Racing Technology.  They have been doing very well and Tony brought the team to a different level last year, so I hope with my contribution we can build on this and take the team to another level. I am extremely happy and have a big smile on my face.”