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Hulkenberg anticipating steep learning curve

ESPNF1 Staff
February 3, 2012 « Indian GP catalyst for Karthikeyan | Technical director Key leaves Sauber »
Nico Hulkenberg: "It will take a little bit of time to get back into shape" © Sutton Images
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Nico Hulkenberg has admitted it will take a couple of races before he is fully up to speed at Force India this season.

2012 will be Hulkenberg's second year as a full F1 race driver after driving with Williams in 2010 and working as a test driver for Force India in 2011. As a result he has limited knowledge of the Pirelli tyres and has not used KERS or DRS in wheel-to-wheel situations.

"I only know Pirellis from Friday morning FP1 and it was usually the medium or hard compound, so there's definitely a lot for me to learn on the soft compounds in qualifying and in the race with how they behave," he said at the launch of the new Force India VJM05. "How they drop off, that will be new to me and it will take a while to learn. Also how to use KERS to defend or to attack, that's stuff I didn't have in 2010 and that will be new to me too."

Asked if it would take a couple of race for him to be on top form, he answered: "Definitely."

For that reason he was not overly optimistic when asked about his chances of beating team-mate Paul di Resta, who is entering his second consecutive year as a race driver at Force India.

"We're both competitive guys and you always want to beat your team-mate - that's always the first thing because he's in the same car as yourself," Hulkenberg said. "He has a little bit of an advantage because he was racing last year and I was on the sidelines. It will take a little bit of time to get back into shape, to get that rust off of me in qualifying and in races. But I'll work hard and try to make that happen pretty quickly."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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