Abu Dhabi

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3 Valtteri Bottas

Hulkenberg faces 'steep learning curve'

Thursday 20th February 2014

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Hulkenberg faces 'steep learning curve'

Hulkenberg faces 'steep learning curve'

Although Nico Hulkenberg displayed impressive pace at the Sakhir circuit on Wednesday, he concedes it is "still very early stage."

The German driver, back with Force India this year after a season with Sauber, was in action at the Sakhir circuit on Day One where he put in 78 laps.

However, it was his pace that really caught the eye.

Hulkenberg clocked a 1:36.880 to not only finish at the top of the timesheets, 0.999s ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, but his time was also faster than Sebastian Vettel's fastest race lap from the 2013 Bahrain GP.

"A very positive and satisfying day," the Force India driver stated. "We had a busy programme and we learned a lot.

"Time in the car is very valuable at the moment and so it feels good to cover so many laps and even complete two long runs at the end of the day.

"That gave me a chance to see how the car behaves and to start getting a feel for it, which was not something I was able to do in Jerez.

"It's great that we've already done some set-up work and started to improve the drivability of the car."

The 26-year-old, though, admits there is still a long way to go before Force India are ready for Australia.

"It's still very early stages," he added, "we are learning with every lap and we face a very steep learning curve in the coming days."

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