Sao Paulo: Yet to secure a drive in Formula One for next season, veteran Brazilian Rubens Barrichello insists he is not losing too much sleep about the possible end of his 18-year career.
Despite the chance that Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix will be his last ever F1 race, the 39-year-old Barrichello said he will not feel he has failed if he can't find a team for next year.
"I think it would be sad to be worried about the future," he said Thursday. "I had 19 lovely seasons ... I've been doing this for such a long time, I've been wanted for such a long time here, so I feel good."
Barrichello has struggled in his second season with Williams because of the car's lack of competitiveness, leaving him only 17th in the standings heading into the season finale. The team is yet to announce a new deal with the Brazilian for next year, and there have been rumors that Kimi Raikkonen may return to F1 to replace him in 2012.
"I feel that I still have a lot of youth on me, and it's not something that I'm asking 'Please, give me the drive,'" he said. "If somebody wants me to drive on a competitive basis it's because they believe I can do a very good job. That's why I'm here."
Countryman Felipe Massa of Ferrari earlier in the week said he advised Barrichello to retire to avoid having to beg for a drive next season. Massa said Barrichello, one of his idols as well as a friend, shouldn't be in a position where he has to pay smaller teams to let him drive for another year.
Barrichello has competed in more F1 races than any other driver. Another season in F1 would mark his 20th consecutive year in the sport.
He finished second in the drivers' standings in 2002 and 2004, both times with Ferrari behind seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher. He was third with Brawn GP in 2009 after being outpaced by teammate and eventual champion Jenson Button.
If Barrichello loses his drive at Williams, the Brazilian would be left with only a few options at top teams next season, one of them being Renault.