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Despite being forced to sit on the sidelines for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Sauber driver Nico Hülkenberg says he was able to see enough from his new team throughout the weekend to feel confident of scoring points.
The German, who suffered a fuel system issue before the start of the 58-lap race, says the data gathered during Friday practice at Albert Park placed Sauber ‘in the same range’ as former outfit Force India, which enjoyed a double top ten result.
"If you take the long-run data from Friday in Melbourne we were basically in the same range as Force India," Hülkenberg, told the official Formula 1 website. "But as I have not participated in the race, it would be reading the crystal ball to make a statement.
"Let’s wait and see this weekend. Maybe it brings more of an answer - though it will definitely not be the final one. What I think is that we could have definitely raced for points…"
Hülkenberg moved on to discuss the detailed cause of his first missed race start, explaining that Sauber has 'taken measures' to ensure no repeat in the future.
"Basically a vacuum developed inside the (fuel) tank, which did some damage to it and which ultimately stopped us from running," he added. "It was not safe, so there was absolutely no way of going into the race - so therefore I was not taking part.
"It was analysed right on the spot in Melbourne and then again in the factory in Hinwil. We understand what the problem was and we know now why it happened - and we have taken measures to make sure it never happens again."
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