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Nico Hulkenberg believes his charge to seventh in Formula 1 qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday ranks among the best qualifying performances of his career, saying the lap was as good as his pole position effort at the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg took a shock pole for Williams at Interlagos in 2010 during his rookie F1 season, but the German thinks his lap for P7 in Bahrain on Saturday was just as good.

When asked if there was any more time on offer, Hulkenberg said: "No. This was seriously, together with the lap from Brazil in 2010, my best qualy lap in my career.

"Especially around here, which I always found a track where I used to struggle in qualifying before to hook it all up perfectly but today it just went smooth as silk. It was beautiful. Very nice, great lap."

Hulkenberg joined Renault's works team for 2017 from Force India, but failed to score any points in the opening two races of the year.

While the 2015 Le Mans winner believes that qualifying pace comes naturally to the team, he feels there is work to do on long runs.

"The car has one lap pace. It's like naturally there," Hulkenberg said. "I think that's probably our strong point at the moment. So that's pretty good, positive. Long run pace and tyre management, we will obviously find that out tomorrow

" In Shanghai we were struggling a bit but yesterday we got some good long runs in. We tried to work against it a bit in Shanghai, made some changes. I hope that it's better tomorrow. I think tomorrow will be a true test and a good teller."

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