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Hulkenberg feels prepared for opening race

Mar 10, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

F1 Testing in Barcelona - Day Three Getty Images

Nico Hulkenberg feels well prepared for the Australian Grand Prix in seven days’ time following a good winter testing period for Sauber.

“In terms of competitiveness, the final Barcelona test showed we are quite well prepared but still have some homework to do, and that we still have room for improvement in certain areas,” he told the official F1 website.

“But I’m confident the baseline is good.”

Hulkenberg left Force India at the end of last season to join Sauber, and with Ferrari and Red Bull rumored to be interested in him for 2014, the German driver will want to impress them from the start of the season. The Albert Park circuit in Melbourne is one of Hulkenberg’s favorites, and he is looking forward to the challenge next Sunday.

“I’m really looking forward to this race, as Australia is always one of my favorite Grands Prix, and Melbourne has a very special atmosphere, so I’m keen to be there. I also like the track which is not a permanent circuit.

“The track itself is very challenging for the drivers. It has got a lot of bumps and you have to know how best to deal with them.”

The opening round will also reveal the pecking order for the season ahead, and Hulkenberg is looking forward to finding out where his rivals stand.

“I’m really looking forward to racing against the usual grid and finally get a clear picture of where everybody stands with regard to performance.”

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