Mark Webber said that Rubens Barrichello deserves a "great send-off" if it is his last Formula One race at the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend.

11312 - Barrichello deserves send-off - Webber

Barrichello heads in to his home grand prix with his future still uncertain as Williams mulls over its driver options for 2012. Pastor Maldonado is expected to continue, while Kimi Raikkonen has been in negotiations about a return to Formula One. Adrian Sutil and Jules Bianchi have also been linked with Williams, and so Barrichello looks set to be without a drive at the end of the season.

Having raced against Barrichello for ten seasons, Webber paid tribute to what he described as "an amazing career".

"One of the great heroes of Brazilian motorsport is Rubens Barrichello," Webber wrote in his BBC column. "He holds the record for competing in more grands prix than any driver in history, and he has done so much for our sport on and off the track.

"Rubens is always willing to stop and give a signature or a photo to fans. He has that family feeling about him, although he still has plenty of mongrel in him in the car. He has had an amazing career."

Webber also said that Barrichello's longevity in the sport was testament to his ability, and that he hopes his time in Formula One doesn't end without the paddock being able to pay tribute.

"Rubens went through a lot at Ferrari as Michael Schumacher's team-mate for six years and has seen so many rule changes, while amassing a wealth of experience. It takes a special guy to be able to compete at that level for that length of time. To have a career of that duration is impressive in anyone's book. He's nearly always got a smile on his face, too, which is great.

"Unfortunately, he is in a bit of a bizarre situation heading into this weekend, in that it could be his last race in F1 but no-one actually knows whether it will be. He says he's not treating it as a farewell. I'm hoping he's right because he's so well-liked that, if it is going to be his swansong, the fans - as well as all his competitors and friends - will want to be able to give him the great send-off he deserves."