Force India has confirmed that Nico Hulkenberg will take part in the opening practice session of the Australian Grand Prix weekend in Melbourne.

The German will take up a test and reserve role with the team for 2011 after losing his race seat with Williams and is set to take part in a number of practice sessions over the course of the season.

The first of those will come at Albert Park and Hulkenberg said he was excited at being back in the car ahead of the new season.

"I am very excited like probably everyone in F1," he said. "It is nearly impossible to predict how competitive we are and as well how competitive our adversaries are. It's very close, especially in the midfield. But I hope that the team will have a good start and I am especially looking forward to free practice one, when I will be sitting in the car again."

Hulkenberg goes into the new season on the back of two days of testing with his new team and he said he already felt at home in his new surroundings.

"It was a pleasure being back in a F1 car and it was a very special feeling when I was sitting in a Force India for the very first time," he said. "Although I was only driving on two days, it helped me a lot to get to know both the team and our car."