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Barrichello Follows BAR, Toyota Progress

Rubens Barrichello has dropped a fresh hint that his Formula One future coud lie outside Ferrari after admitting that he sees potential being wasted in Honda and Toyota's efforts

The Brazilian has been at the centre of speculation about a possible switch to the Honda-powered BAR team next year ever since he had an argument with Michael Schumacher about a last-lap move at the Monaco Grand Prix.

And although he has insisted that he currently intends to see out his contract with Ferrari, which runs until the end of 2006, he admits that nothing is guaranteed beyond that.

Speaking about his situation at Ferrari this season, including his disappointment at having to hold position behind Schumacher in the United States GP, Barrichello said: "I just spoke out internally what my opinion was about specific things.

"I am doing my job seriously and I expect respect for that. If I think that respect is lacking a bit, I can be very outspoken. But every time I say something a bit critical about Ferrari, people believe that I am leaving already.

"The fact is that I have a contract for 2006 and the chances that I stay there are 50-50."

When asked whether that meant his heart was set on BAR, Barrichello said: "Sporting director Gil de Ferran is a good friend of mine and logically, if our paths cross in the paddock we start to chat.

"I would also say that I have a keen look about what Toyota and Honda are doing. I think there is a lot of potential lying idle there."

Barrichello has also revealed in the interview with Brazilian media that Frank Williams tried to sign him for 2005 - but the pair could not reach an agreement.

"Finally, those negotiations came to nothing because no team, not even Williams, could offer me the working conditions Ferrari could."

BAR had earlier this year been believed to be keen on luring Barrichello for next season as a replacement for Jenson Button, who had seemed certain to leave for Williams.
 
However, the Briton's future is now not completely clear amid suggestions that he wants to stay at his current team even though he will be contractually tied to Williams.

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