One of the least experienced drivers in the F1 2010 field has received a vote of confidence from the grid's most seasoned veteran of all time, as Rubens Barrichello admitted that his rookie Williams team-mate Nico Hülkenberg might have been guilty of 'trying too hard' to impress on his grand prix debut in Bahrain earlier this month – before assuring that the young German will get there in the end.
Barrichello out-qualified the highly-rated Hülkenberg by more than half a second in the Sakhir curtain-raiser, and the reigning GP2 Series Champion and former F3 Euroseries and A1GP World Cup of Motorsport title-winner then trailed in some way behind the point-scoring Brazilian on race day too, hindered by an early spin that had left his Cosworth-powered FW32 sporting some damage.
More notably still, whilst Barrichello set the race's sixth-fastest lap time under the baking heat of the desert sun, Hülkenberg could manage only the 15th – the second-slowest of the classified finishers – at more than 1.5 seconds adrift, but the Paulista has been quick to defend the F1 new boy.
“Nico is a very good driver, but he is also very young,” stressed the 37-year-old, a man with a record 285 grand prix starts now under his belt. “In Formula 1, you can try too hard. It was his first qualifying. In qualifying it is not just about driving, but also [about using] your head, and this is what he has to get used to. It would be unfair to expect more.
“Sometimes, Nico wants too much,” the 22-year-old's manager Willi Weber corroborated, speaking to German publication Auto Motor und Sport