Despite a double points score at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Nico Hulkenberg has warned that Force India can't afford to relax.

The German finished seventh in Melbourne, with team-mate Sergio Perez snatching the final point in tenth spot, but is realistic when it comes to assessing Force India's potential ahead of this weekend's Malaysian round.

Having been hamstrung by financial problems in pre-season, which severely curtailed the amount of testing and development that could be done with the new VJM08, the Silverstone-based team was able to take advantage of reliability woes elsewhere in the field at Albert Park, capitalising on a 15-car grid and further in-race retirements to take home seven points even it would admit were unlikely heading to Melbourne. With its rivals expected to have got on top of their problems, Hulkenberg is reluctant to predict a repeat at Sepang.

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"We knew the VJM08's reliability was one of our strong points and we were able to play that card well," he reasoned, "We didn't make any mistakes and we had a good strategy, and that helped us capitalise on a day when others ran into trouble. We need to keep our feet on the ground, however, because we know the circumstances in which we got this result and we know the next races will be tough."

Malaysia traditionally poses one of the harshest tests of F1 men and machinery, and Hulkenberg has been spending the break between races in Indonesia to get acclimatised to the heat and humidity that will also take a toll on his car this weekend.

"The track is quite challenging and very different to Melbourne, [while] the high temperatures and humidity add to the challenges," he noted, "However, I'm feeling in good shape for this weekend, and am really looking forward to getting back to action at Sepang after a fairly positive start of the season."