Rubens Barrichello has warned Nico Rosberg (left) that he may need to "get out" of Mercedes GP if he wants to achieve his full potential in Formula 1, now that Michael Schumacher is his teammate.
Barrichello has mixed emotions about his lengthy spell alongside Schumacher at Ferrari – especially as he had to play a number two role for most of his time there. When asked if he had any advice for Schumacher's new teammate Rosberg, Barrichello's cheeky response was: "Yeah. Get out of there! That is the only thing I can tell him. He needs to drive fast and don't crash. Ross will always tell you that before the race."
Although Barrichello admits his comment is slightly extreme, he does think that the speed that Schumacher showed on his return to F1 action at Valencia should serve as a warning to Rosberg.
"He [Nico] is a great talent and I wish him all the best, and maybe tomorrow you will see the newspapers saying, 'Rubens tells Nico to get out of there,' but I am not being bad about it," he said. "Knowing what I know, and seeing how fast Michael went today, it is going to be a tough job. I wish him all the best, because I think he is a talented boy who can be World Champion. If he has the chance of being World Champion in the same team as Michael, then he can be World Champion anywhere. Let's put it this way."
Despite his comments about racing alongside Schumacher in the same team, Barrichello has welcomed the return of veterans like the seven-time champion and Pedro de la Rosa to F1 this year.
"It is good to see them back," he said. "I think after last year, when I drove a competitive car and almost won the championship, it honestly gives some of the people from the paddock a different sensation. Because, five years ago, it was all about Kimi Raikkonen and new drivers – F1 wanting new drivers all the time. With [Robert] Kubica it was all the same. Now with the lack of testing, no testing, it makes the older drivers attractive."