Nico Hulkenberg was 'very positive' and 'satisfied' after topping the times on Wednesday during the opening day of F1 2014 pre-season testing in Bahrain, although he insisted it was still 'very early days'.

Hulkenberg concluded proceedings almost a second up on the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and in total he did almost 80 laps in his Force India, the second most of anyone runner on track.

"A very positive and satisfying day," Hulkenberg summarised. "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.

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"It's great that we've already done some set-up work and started to improve the drivability of the car. But it's still very early stages; we are learning with every lap and we face a very steep learning curve in the coming days."

Force India chief operating officer, Otmar Szafnauer, meanwhile was also pleased with how the day panned out.

"Our Bahrain test has got off to a positive start. 79 laps is a good effort and it's just what we need at this early stage of the VJM07's development. The aero work this morning ran smoothly with the constant speed runs giving us some aero data we required. In the afternoon we started evaluating the soft and medium tyres, and running through different set-up options - changing ride heights and rebalancing the car. We ended the day with a couple of longer runs on the soft tyres," he added.

Hulkenberg will now continue running on Thursday in the VJM07, before team-mate and McLaren reject, Sergio Perez takes over for the final two days.