• Bahrain Grand Prix

Hulkenberg wary of Williams and McLaren

ESPN Staff
April 3, 2014 « Bahrain will be a better marker - Button | Ricciardo has surprised me - Vettel »
Nico Hulkenberg has been pleasantly surprised by his start to 2014 © Sutton Images
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Nico Hulkenberg is refusing to write off Williams and McLaren in Bahrain despite being on pace with the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso in Malaysia.

While Hulkenberg was in a personal battle with Alonso for much of the race, McLaren and Williams found themselves further down the field. But Hulkenberg does not believe that is a trend that will continue in Bahrain.

"In Malaysia we had a surprisingly good performance on Sunday, certainly above what we expected," Hulkenberg said. "We were quite clear on McLaren and Williams which was a little bit of a surprise but here things will be a little bit more tricky and a bit more tight."

However Hulkenberg is delighted with how the season has gone so far and thinks the team is in a good position to extend that run in Sakhir.

"It's a really positive start to the season for us, 18 points for me already, which is really good. I feel we have a good foundation and need to keep pushing and doing what we can because it's a good time to pick up good points. The whole team is very positive and everyone is working in the right direction. We had two strong races and we are just trying to keep the momentum there by plugging away with good results."

He also played down the idea he was competing with Alonso in Melbourne and Sepang, pointing to the strategy in both races as proof Force India still has a way to go to consider themselves on a par with Ferrari.

"Australia was not quite a battle, I was in front of me and he overtook me through strategy. And then in Malaysia there was not much I could offer in the end, I was struggling with my tyres and he was on a fresh set of softs. I tried to make him work a little bit for the move but when he's coming at me at two second a lap there's not much I can offer in return."