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'Drivers will have to be clever'

Simon Evans | January 12, 2005 20:05 IST

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello believes the rule change on tyres in Formula One means racers will have to drive more intelligently than in the past.

New rules introduced for the upcoming 2005 season force teams to use the same set of tyres for qualifying and the race with a spare set only able to be used in case of a puncture.

"We shall have to learn how to deal with this rule. 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," he told a news conference at the team's winter retreat in the Dolomites.

"Races will need to be handled in the head as well as feet in 2005," added the Brazilian, who finished second in last year's world championship behind German team mate and seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher.

Barrichello said he was not worried about the increased workload with 19 Grand Prix races on the calendar for the upcoming campaign.

"We have 19 races but there are less tests for us this year and the team will do the testing instead. As for the rest of it -- well I compete in F1 because I like races. I don't think this will change much, I'd just like two or three races in Brazil," he joked.

A relaxed Barrichello shrugged off a question about his status as the 'eternal number two' at Ferrari behind Schumacher.

"It doesn't matter what number is on my car. What counts is what number I aim to have on my car and for the next season I want it be number one," he said.

"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 Formula One -- but I still have the motivation," he added.

"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. It is all there to be enjoyed," said Barrichello.

"I'm happy to be on the same team as Michael, we push each other even further on," he added.

Asked what conditions suited him against Schumacher, Barrichello said the courses made little difference.

"Silverstone suits me and Michael always goes well at Spa but what is the difference between Silverstone and Spa? Not much I'd say. 19 races will be tough but it is going to be the one who is there all the time, consistently picking up points, who will win the championship," he said.

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