The German driver joins Sauber for his third season in the sport.
“Finally the start of the season is coming closer. I left Europe yesterday. I’m really looking forward to this race,” he said.
“The track itself is very challenging for the drivers. It has got a lot of bumps and you have to know how best to deal with them.”
Hulkenberg admits that while he remains uncertain as to Sauber’s place in the competitive order, he is confident ahead of the season opener.
“In terms of competitiveness, the final Barcelona test showed we are quite well prepared but still have some homework to do, and that we still have room for improvement in certain areas. But I’m confident the baseline is good. I’m really looking forward to racing against the usual grid and finally get a clear picture of where everybody stands with regard to performance.”
Team mate Esteban Gutierrez is also looking forwards to his ‘special’ debut.
“Melbourne will be my first race in F1 and I’m sure it will be very special. It’s a track that I don’t know, but I’m confident I will be able to learn it quickly in the free practice sessions,” he said.
“One of the things that I need to do is feel natural and relaxed in my surroundings so I can focus on the most important elements during the weekend. I feel I have a good base for the start of the season, but, of course, I will keep on working as I have areas were I can improve. My goal is to exploit the car’s potential and finish consistently within the points.”