“I'm not seeing it as my last race. It's just another Brazilian GP, one that is always fantastic because of the energy we get from the fans. I won't be making my farewell race just yet. I don't have to think about that right now. I'll just try to have a good race, Interlagos will be packed with fans cheering for Felipe and for me as well,” said Barrichello when asked about his plans for the future.
The 36-year old is currently holding the record for most presences inside the Great Circle (268 with the Interlagos race) and is believed to step down from Honda after season's finale. Brazilian oil company Petrobras allegedly conditioned a future financial support for Honda Racing Team with bringing some new Brazilian blood into the 2009 lineup – either Bruno Senna or Nelson Piquet Jr.
With Nelsinho Piquet in pole position for a deal extension with Renault next season and Fernando Alonso 99% certain to do the same after the Brazilian Grand Prix, Honda's only option to replace Barrichello remains Senna. Nephew of F1 champ Ayrton Senna, Bruno admitted earlier this week that he is likely to make his F1 debut next season but avoided to give the media any names.
Barrichello, on the other hand, has already agreed to test a Honda-powered Penske car inside the IndyCar Series this winter at Homestead-Miami. Should Honda decided to let him go after the season finale, the Brazilian has two options of continuing his racing career: either the IndyCar Series or Brazilian Stock Car Racing.
Barrichello made his Formula One debut 15 years ago, in 1993, alongside Jordan Hart team. He only scored 9 wins in his almost 270 starts inside the Great Circle, all for Italian 'giants' Ferrari (for whom he competed from 2000 to 2005). In 3 years with Honda, the Brazilian scored a single podium (3rd place at Silverstone this year) and registered his most disappointing season in career (failing to score a single point in 2007).