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F1 NEWS 

Barrichello: I never lost faith

Rubens BarrichelloRubens Barrichello says he never lost faith that he would extend his career in Formula One, despite the uncertainty over the winter caused by Honda's withdrawal.

The Brazilian has been handed a fresh deal with Brawn GP for 2009, which will allow him to extend his record as the most experienced F1 driver in history.

And speaking about the deal for the first time since it was confirmed in the early hours of Friday morning, Barrichello said that he never allowed himself to lose belief he would remain in F1.

"Over the last four months I preferred to stay silent," Barrichello wrote on his own website.

"People were saying I was finished and nobody wanted me - and someone even said that Bruno Senna had already signed for three years with the team. That was an absurd story, which was a desperate attempt to print a report without any basis or source for it.

"What was important was that during that time (over the winter) I had to keep my faith. I worked hard physically and I was still only talking with staff members from the team."

Barrichello admits that things will not be easy for Brawn GP with such a late start to the season compared to their rivals, but he says the determination that saw him through the past months will remain now that they are in action.

"When I said at the Brazilian GP that I was sure it would not be my last race, I didn't know it for sure but something told me that it would not be," he said.

"I had to listen to a lot (of rumours) but it only left me stronger and the new opportunity I have to be here is thanks to my friend and family, who gave me great strength, and also the fans who sent me messages of support.

"We start the year by the skin of our teeth, because we (only) have a few tests before the first race. But we have a car that is fast and with a strong Mercedes engine behind us. I am looking forward to it."

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