Nico Hulkenberg has praised Williams team-mate Rubens Barrichello and admitted that it is 'puzzling' how the Brazilian is able to drive the car as quickly as he can.

Barrichello, the most experienced driver on the F1 grid, has scored points in two of the opening four races in the Cosworth-powered car and had proved to be the ideal role model to GP2 title winner Hulkenberg at the start of his F1 career.

The Brazilian has already been praised by team bosses for the way in which he has led the team so far, and Hulkenberg said the 37-year-old was the perfect person to learn from

"How he drives the car just eight tenths slower than the front is puzzling," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "And then when the car is really difficult, Rubens puts in a lap that really makes me wonder how he does it.

"He's an experienced driver who last year won races in a winning car. If I'm with him in qualifying and beating him in the races, it will be a success. This is a learning year [for me] and part of the development process."

However, while drawing praise from his team-mate, Barrichello himself admitted there was still plenty of room for improvement through the remainder of the season as Williams seeks to challenge the front-runners on the grid.

"We know exactly where we need to find some of our pace," he said. "We shall not suddenly somewhere, get a second. The important thing is that I am firmly convinced that this second is in the car. We will improve the car further and further. We have to come in qualifying in the top six. Even to achieve this, we need to find half a second."

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