Rubens Barrichello has fired the first shot in what is set to be a battle of the generations with rookie Williams team mate Nico Hulkenberg, saying that the highly-rated young German ‘tried too hard’ in Bahrain.
Hulkenberg was outpaced by 37-year-old Barrichello during qualifying, then lost it over the bumps at Turn Six in the race and ended up a lap down. The veteran’s race ended more happily as he claimed tenth spot, now worth a point.
“Nico is a very good driver, but he is also very young,” said the ex-Brawn man. ”In Formula One you can try too hard.
“It was his first qualifying. In qualifying it is not just about driving, but also your head, and this is what he has to get used to.
“It would be unfair to expect more,” Barrichello finished.
Hulkenberg dominated GP2 last season, and impressed with sharp times testing this winter. It remains to be seen whether he can rise to the challenge Barrichello represents.