Nico Hulkenberg believes he can head to the opening round of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship in Australia feeling reasonably satisfied after a solid conclusion to pre-season testing.
Benefitting from its favourable Mercedes engine, Sahara Force India have been amongst the pace setters during the two pre-season tests in Bahrain, with Sergio Perez and Hulkenberg ending up sixth and eighth on the combined timesheets respectively.
Though a component failure prevented Hulkenberg from completing a race simulation on the final day of pre-season action, the German is nonetheless content with his car's performance heading to the Australian Grand Prix.
"The final day of testing went pretty well. In the end we didn't do the race simulation, but we did some long runs and signed off a lot of other things on the job list. We didn't do as many laps as yesterday, but we still made progress and learned some new things.
“So it's been two good days for me and I'm feeling pretty satisfied. You always want more time to prepare, but I think we're in good shape. The car has come a long way since the first Jerez test and we have made progress every day.”
Hulkenberg's views are reflected by Force India technical director Andrew Green, who believes the car's performance and reliability stands the team in good stead for the Australian event.
“The final day in Bahrain saw a continuation of yesterday's work improving the car balance, collecting tyre data, and some long runs. Our programme ended slightly early with a suspected component failure, which was a result of high mileage, and so we didn't manage to complete our target number of laps.
“Nonetheless our time in Bahrain has gone largely to plan with the mileage achieved during the previous three days leaving us in good shape going into Melbourne.
“We're feeling positive about our reliability and have explored some encouraging directions for improving car performance. The other focus has been on our race readiness and we've done a great deal of homework to prepare the drivers for the challenge that awaits them in Melbourne."