The German was 10th quickest in second practice and, after not suffering any of the reliability dramas that affected many of his rivals, he reckoned that his team was in the mix to deliver points.
Friday form guide: Force India in the mix as Red Bull turns heads
"It was a fairly positive day I would say," he said. "There were no technical issues so from that point of view everything went smooth.
"We could go through our programme like last year pretty much like a normal Friday - do some tyre work and do some long runs.
"From that point of view it has been a good day.
"You are still learning and trying to optimise the performance of the car, but no big issues."
The only drama for Hulkenberg was a spin in to the gravel trap at Turn 9 late in the second session after he made a mistake on the entry.
"I touched the grass a bit, braking for Turn 9/10," he said.
"When the sun is low it is tough to see the edge of the track, and you need to leave a bit more space."
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Although Hulkenberg is not expecting any headline grabbing performance from Force India this weekend, he reckoned that the team was looking solid.
"I think it is fair to say, like we thought in winter testing, that Mercedes is up top and in front," he explained.
"I think after that it is Red Bull - they look pretty fast. For sure Mercedes are quick.
"We are obviously around about the top 10 area, but it is the first day.
"There is room for improvement - there is room for improvement from everybody.
"That is where we sit today, let's see where we sit tomorrow."
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