Barrichello's tyre warning

Rubens Barrichello has echoed the warnings of several Formula 1 drivers, including BAR-Honda's Anthony Davidson and Williams candidate Antonio Pizzonia, by maintaining that tyre conservation will be key to winning races this season

Barrichello's tyre warning

The Ferrari star, speaking at the team's pre-season press conference at the Madonna Di Campiglio ski resort in Italy, joined a growing list of key F1 figures who consider new rules requiring drivers to use a single set of tyres during a race, could be the single biggest change in the raft of new regulations to be introduced this season.

"We shall have to learn how to deal with this rule," he said. "One thing is for sure - we won't be able to drive like last year. If you flatten out a tyre you are practically dead.

"Races will need to be handled in the head as well as feet in 2005."

Toyota's technical director Mike Gascoyne said at the launch of the TF105 on Saturday that this rule could play into Ferrari's hands, and particulary Michael Schumacher's: "The drivers who are able to look after the tyres best are the ones who will succeed most next year. Ralf Schumacher is very good at that but so is Michael."

On the subject of the seven-time world champion, Barrichello repeated his belief that he can beat Schumacher to the title in the right circumstances.

"It doesn't matter what number is on my car," he said of his continued role as number two in the team. "What counts is what number I aim to have on my car and for the next season I want it be number one.

"I'm here and I am fully committed. If one day I start thinking that I will never be able to beat Michael for sure I will not stay in F1 - but I still have the motivation.

"I have to keep my right foot down and be calm like I was in Brazil, I want to drive the car, I have got a great team behind me and Ferrari give us the same car and same support."

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