When Rubens Barrichello was recently asked what advice he might give to Nico Rosberg, who be Michael Schumacher’s team mate at Mercedes GP this year, the Brazilian said he would tell Rosberg to “get out of there.”
Barrichello, who is driving for Williams this year, was Schumacher’s team mate at Ferrari for the 2000-2006 seasons. Although Barrichello took most of his career wins at Ferrari, and was no doubt paid a princely sum, he often chafed at playing second fiddle to the German ace.
With Schumacher’s joining Mercedes GP this year on a three-year conract, he’ll be reunited with Ross Brawn, the technical director who was the maestro behind Schumacher’s previous seven titles. To say that the two men work well together would be an understatement. Most of Schumacher’s team mates have felt that Brawn gave preferential treatment to Schumacher, although Brawn has always maintained that if there were any extra attention given to the German ace, it was only because he’d won it on merit.
Asa reported in Autosport, Barrichello yesterday indicated that he thought Rosberg would have his work cut out for him if he wanted to avoid being relegated to permanent number two status. “Knowing what I know,” he said, “and seeing how fast Michael went today, it’s going to be a tough job.”
Rosberg, however, has shrugged off the suggestion that he’ll be overwhelmed by Schumacher. “I am also quite strong and I respect people,” he said. “I’m not too worried and, in general, I’m go to go for it and we will see what comes of it. If I’m ahead, great; if I’m behind, I need to work harder. I am confident from last year that I can do well. I don’t have a problem. It’s going to be challenge, of course, because I’m up against one of the greatest of all time.”
And when asked if he was surprised that Barrichello had advised him to “get out of there,” Rosberg shrugged and said, “I’m not sure. From his point of view, he was beaten for six years so maybe from him it doesn’t surprise me that he says that.”