Although many had looked at him as to a finished driver, the 37-year old impressed everybody in the first 4 rounds of the season, scoring two Q3 performances (the other two times he nearly missed the Q3 entry from 11th place) and finishing in points on two occasions. What's more important though is the fact that his pace is sometimes as good as the front-runners', which “puzzled” his very teammate Hulkenberg.
“How he drives the car just eight tenths slower than the front is puzzling. And then when the car is really difficult, Rubens puts in a lap that really makes me wonder how he does it,” said the F1 rookie in an interview with German told Auto Motor und Sport.
The 22-year old insisted that Barrichello's great form could only be a positive thing for him, as he reckoned the 2010 season will be a learning campaign for him. Consequently, having an experienced teammate to lead his development path could only help him in 2010.
“It is a learning year and part of the development process,” added Hulkenberg. “He is 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.”
For the time being, Hulkenberg is in 15th place in the overall classification, 4 points behind his teammate. His sole point on the scoreboard came at the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix.