Barrichello Offered 'Multi-Year' Deal

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said Rubens Barrichello was allowed to leave Ferrari because he had a multi-year offer from another team

Barrichello Offered 'Multi-Year' Deal

"We gave Rubens Barrichello the possibility of accepting an offer of a multi-year contract [from another team], longer therefore than the length of his relationship with us," di Montezemolo told Ferrari's website.

Barrichello will leave Ferrari at the end of the season after Ferrari announced he will be replaced by Brazilian Felipe Massa.

Barrichello, whose contract ran until the end of 2006, has raced alongside seven-times drivers' champion Michael Schumacher since 2000 and won nine Grands Prix.

"Rubens Barrichello will leave the Scuderia at the end of the 2005 season, the conclusion of a fruitful and fortunate collaboration that began in 2000 and which so far has brought the achievement of five constructors' World Championship titles," Ferrari said in a statement on Tuesday.

The World Champions gave no reason for Barrichello's departure a year ahead of schedule although there were clear signs he had become unhappy with his position as second driver behind Schumacher as Ferrari struggled this season.

He took exception to the German forcing his way past for sixth place at Monaco, and also at Indianapolis as the pair battled it out for victory in a six-car race.

The 33-year-old is expected to join the BAR team, who hope to pair him with Jenson Button if they win the battle with Williams for the Briton's services.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello
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