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Barrichello said Thursday he doesn’t know enough about the issue to comment yet, and wants to see the fences, the track and experience the banking before he forms an opinion. But he does understand how to solve disputes.

“Communicate. Not pointing fingers,” he said. “Drivers are very unique in that sometimes they don’t communicate very well. But on the other hand, people try to think `I know what they are going through’ and they don’t. So the communication and the expression is the best thing. The best thing.

“When you are trying to say to people `You don’t know what it means to drive the car’ and then they come from the outside and say `You don’t how to handle the whole situation’ it is true. We both don’t know the other situation. That’s why we need to communicate.”

That’s a strong voice of reason at a time IndyCar needs a strong leader.

His availability was sudden, and came in January, when Williams gave his F1 seat to fellow Brazilian Bruno Senna. Even though he turns 40 the week he’ll make his debut in the Indianapolis 500, retirement didn’t interest him. He brought his two young sons to that first test at Sebring, and has repeatedly cited their enthusiasm as one of the reasons a move to IndyCar was appealing.

That enthusiasm is shared at KV Racing, which is winless since joining IndyCar in 2008 and hasn’t won since the final event in Champ Car history in that same year. Kanaan’s addition upped the team’s performance last year _ he was third in his debut race last year, had three podium finishes and finished fifth in the championship standings _ and Barrichello now brings his vast experience to the program.

“It really puts more pressure on the team,” team co-owner Jimmy Vasser said. “Not that there isn’t already enough built in pressure in motorsport, but to have a driver of Rubens’ caliber, a solid team with E.J. and Tony, and some new engineers that we have on board … it’s the kind of added pressure you want to have in motorsport, and if you don’t feel that naturally, then you’re probably not a real racer.”

Barrichello said there’s still work to be done.

“I don’t think it’s an automatic that KV Racing Technology will automatically raise its game, but I think the joint entry with Chevrolet is a good marriage and I think that we can conquer from that,” he said. “I am pretty sure that before the season starts you cannot simply say the team has all of a sudden improved. But they are doing all they can to make it more professional in terms of drivers, engineers, mechanics, pit stops _ everything that counts. We really do hope we are going to have a proper car that gives us a chance to win.”