Hulkenberg expects no grace period

Nico Hulkenberg is under no illusions that he must deliver from the very start of 2010, after claiming he is not expecting a grace period to get up to speed

Hulkenberg expects no grace period

The German is fired up ahead of his debut F1 campaign and, although there is only a limited period of pre-season testing, he admits the target is to be on the pace from the very first race.

"That is the target, for sure," he explained. "There is nobody who says that you have five races to get up to speed, and to deliver. It is straightaway you have to be good.

"Williams expect me to deliver a good job, to drive quickly and do well for them. They would not appoint me as a driver if they didn't expect something from me. They have not said what that is in terms of numbers or results, but expectations are always there."

The GP2 champion completed his first run in the new FW32 at Valencia in Spain last week - as part of around seven days of testing that he will get before the season opener in Bahrain next month.

And although F1's testing restrictions are not ideal for preparing for a rookie season, Hulkenberg thinks he will be as well prepared as possible - especially after his strong title-winning GP2 campaign last year.

"I feel a lot more self confident and ready for F1," said Hulkenberg, about his feelings for 2010. "Doing a year in GP2 helped me quite significantly and made me better in all aspects. I enjoyed that year and I definitely feel ready now for this big task.

"I had a great year in 2009 and I didn't expect at all to be that competitive in GP2. I expected a very difficult year, but it turned out okay - and the second half of the season was mega.

"If I can adapt as quickly as I did in GP2, then it will be very good. The testing amount is not huge before the first race, but I will do my best to get there as quickly as possible."

Hulkenberg believes his chances of making a success of his debut campaign have also been boosted by the return of Michael Schumacher - who he thinks will keep the media off his own back.

"The main attention is on him for sure, but to be honest I feel quite comfortable like that at the moment. It means I can concentrate on my driving and working with the team. He gets all the big media attention and I am quite happy with that."

Hulkenberg enjoyed his first test working alongside team-mate Rubens Barrichello in Valencia, and he already feels that the Brazilian veteran's experience is a big boost to both him and Williams.

"For sure it will help me," he said. "We are very happy to have Rubens. Sitting with him in the debrief, with his input and his experience, you can really hear it when you talk to him. It is really good to have him."

Hulkenberg will drive the first two days of this week's test at Jerez in Spain, before handing the car over to Rubens Barrichello for the final two days.

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