And the first thing he did was try to protect his much younger teammate from the critics, following his partially-failed season opening Bahrain Grand Prix. The German driver did manage to finish the race, but his overall performance was affected by several driving mistakes, which eventually brought him to 14th overall at the finish line.
According to Barrichello, the problem with Hulkenberg is that he pushes too much. If one adds inexperience to that, mistakes should come as natural for the time being, argued the F1 veteran.
“Nico is a very good driver, but he is also very young. In Formula One you can try too hard. It (Bahrain) was his first qualifying and there it doesn't just depend on your driving, it's also a mental thing. For Nico everything was new. He still needs to become accustomed to it. It would be unfair to expect more,” said the Brazilian, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, Hulkenberg admitted that he'll come to Albert Park without any prior experience of the circuit, but still hopes to improve on his Bahrain performance.
“I'm hoping that we will have a more successful weekend in Australia as a result of what I learnt in Bahrain, and what the team have worked on since we came home,” said the German driver.