Nico Rosberg is regularly able to qualify a car beyond its abilities, according to his Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn.

While Michael Schumacher had an improved 2011 compared to the contest with his teammate Rosberg a year earlier, Brawn said a few days ago that the younger German remained clearly the better driver in the qualifying hour.

"In qualifying, he really can get the most out of the car. Nico comes closer to its limits," he is quoted by Germany's Sport Bild.

"I think we've often seen him in a better qualifying position than where I would expect the car to be.

"Nico might think this is normal, but it's not. For me, he is definitely among the best drivers in formula one."

But Brawn thinks a few cards could fall in seven time world champion Schumacher's favour in 2012.

"It could be that the new Pirelli tyres help him because you don't have to be quite as gentle with them as you did with the 2011 generation," said the Briton.