Hulkenberg keen to capitalise on shorter F1 pre-season

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Nico Hulkenberg thinks this year’s shorter F1 pre-season testing can open up opportunities for Force India, especially during the first few races.

Teams were given 12 days of running last winter but that number has been reduced to eight in 2016, divided in two four-day sessions held at Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya from February 22-25 and March 1-4.

Having achieved a remarkable turnaround following the introduction of its B-spec VJM08, Force India finished the 2015 campaign on a high to secure its best ever Constructors’ championship result with fifth.

“Less testing could mean better opportunities during the first couple of races if we’re better prepared than others, and have kept the momentum [of last year],” Hulkenberg told the official F1 website.

“At the end of the day [eight days] is all everybody has and we all have to work with this time.”

The reigning Le Mans champion is well versed in experiencing a difficult off-season, as Force India had to delay the launch of its VJM08 until the third and final test last year.

Although that did not prevent Hulkenberg and team-mate Sergio Perez from securing a double points finish in a race of attrition at Melbourne, the 28-year-old hopes his squad can start the new season on surer footing to reach new heights.

“It's always difficult to judge what others will do and where you will pan out for the first race. But from what I have seen of what the team is doing and developing, I think we can challenge for good results - probably even better than in 2015.”

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