May 11 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg insists he is not yet under ‘negative’ pressure from his bosses to up his game in formula one.
The German rookie has outqualified Rubens Barrichello twice so far in 2010, including in Barcelona, but he has generally been outshone by his more experienced teammate.
Williams, although having groomed the reigning GP2 champion with test seats in both 2008 and 2009, is famous for not having a lot of patience for tardy or struggling drivers.
But Hulkenberg, 22, said he doesn’t feel under pressure, even though the British team’s overall performance has not been good in 2010.
“No, not at all,” he told the May print edition of Germany’s Motorsport-Magazin.
“Quite the contrary, I have the full support of Frank, Patrick and Sam. They have not said a negative word, everything is good.
“We are in this situation together and we must come out of it together.”
But admitting he is “well prepared” for F1, Hulkenberg insists he cannot be compared with successful past rookies like Lewis Hamilton, who made his debut in 2007 with “15-20,000” kilometres under his belt.
“I had just seven days this winter,” said Hulkenberg, who is managed by the famous Willi Weber.
“Even though I had very good results in F3 and GP3, I cannot be expected to have my teammate – who is now in his 18th season – immediately under control.
“Or if it was so, then Rubens would probably stop immediately,” he added.
Although not unduly pressured by his bosses, Hulkenberg said he is aware of the “responsibility” of occupying one of the Grove based team’s two cockpits.
“As a driver, you bear a responsibility for the whole team, for the 500 people behind it, the sponsors, all the money involved.
“It is not going quite as planned, but I am in formula one, with the best drivers in the world … give me a little time,” he said.