Although Ferrari’s top personnel, including Michael Schumacher, have had their contracts extended until the end of 2006 – Rubens Barrichello’s future after 2004 is not secure.

Although Ferrari’s top personnel, including Michael Schumacher, have had their contracts extended until the end of 2006 – Rubens Barrichello’s future after 2004 has not been secured.


According to a report, the Brazilian wants Ferrari team bosses to tell him before the start of the new season whether he will be kept on beyond the end of 2004.


The Ferrari number two this week said that he wants a swift end to negotiations about a new contract so that he can attack next year without worrying about his future.


Barrichello has made it clear that he wants to extend his relationship with Ferrari beyond 2004, despite him being a contender for a switch to Williams-BMW as the replacement for Juan-Pablo Montoya. Most believe that Italian Giancarlo Fisichella or Fernando Alonso would be the two strongest candidates to replace Barrichello. Is the veteran Brazilian clutching at straws?


“About your future, you would always leave the door open," said Barrichello. "I have created for myself a situation at Ferrari alongside Michael Schumacher that everyone thought was impossible to have. I have a very good situation. I have the same status as Michael and I am very happy here.


"We have to talk . I've just come back from a two-month holiday and we are starting talks now. What I want is to get to the start of the championship, at the beginning of March, with my future sorted out," he added.