Nico Hulkenberg admits he is 'surprised' by the immediate pace and reliability of the Force India VJM08 after accumulating a mammoth 157 laps on the car's first full day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The much delayed car got its much anticipated debut on the second day of the final pre-season test, meaning Force India is getting less than three days' worth of running before the Mercedes-powered machine is shipped to Australia for the opening round.

Nonetheless, the car has run faultlessly since it turned its first wheel, Hulkenberg managing 77 laps in little more than an afternoon yesterday, before producing a full 157 laps on a Saturday otherwise interrupted late on by two red flags for other teams.

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Having already amassed 248 laps over just one and a half days', Hulkenberg admits he has been impressed with the VJM08's competitiveness straight out of the box.

"Eighty laps yesterday, almost two-and-a-half race distances today with no hiccups is very good and positive. We were able to do some good and proper running today. We've been learning about the tyres and about the car, playing around with the set-up, it's a little bit similar to last year's car.

"I am surprised about how well the car has run, it is very good we have brought it here and shook it out of its sleeve so well. It was a surprise to everybody but that is what we needed and helps us a little bit."

Indeed, despite its sizeable disadvantage in terms of track time and mileage, Hulkenberg - who won't drive the car again now until the season opener in Australia - says he is happy to race the VJM08 already.

"If I was to race in this car tomorrow, I think I would be confident. We haven't had too much time but I feel happy and comfortable. Not too much of a dissimilar feeling to last year, which I could pick up on quite quickly and I've found my