Brazilian Rubens Barrichello is to leave Ferrari at the end of this season to join BAR-Honda.
The 33-year-old, who has won nine Grands Prix for Ferrari, has signed what BAR said was a "multi-year deal".
He will end his contract with Ferrari a year early after getting fed up playing second fiddle to team leader and seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.
"I am very excited to confirm I will be at BAR. I wish to thank Ferrari for six fantastic years," said Barrichello.
Barrichello will have equal status with Jenson
Button at BAR if the Briton – who is trying to negotiate his way out of
a move to Williams – is allowed to stay at the team.
If Button leaves, the Brazilian will lead BAR.
Barrichello’s place as Schumacher’s number two at Ferrari will be taken by Felipe Massa, currently with Sauber.
Good news for Massa, but this is an odd choice, to jump from the most dominant team in F1 (this years’ performance notwithstanding) to be second-banana at BAR (which is admittedly doing much better this year, and improving). One wonders what will become of Takuma Sato, the driver not named in the replacement swaps.
My guess: Barichello’s betting the courts send Button to Williams, making him the number one driver. I hope he has it in him, either way.