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Hulkenberg 'proud and happy' with another strong Q3

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Renault's Nico Hulkenberg insisted he was happy to qualify in seventh place for the second weekend in a row.

Hulkenberg matched his Shanghai performance in this week's qualifying in Bahrain. And he was joined in Q3 for the first time by his team mate Jolyon Palmer, making it an auspicious occasion for Renault.

"I'm very satisfied. I'm happy about it. That was really the maximum - one of the best qualifying laps I can recall.

"It's quite a tricky track, Bahrain, to get a 100 per cent lap. And I've just managed to do that now in Q3. Very proud and happy about that.

"The team has done a great job, over yesterday and today."

Despite the consistency, Hulkenberg sounded less than entirely delighted with the outcome. He explained that was more a case of not getting too excited based on last week's experience where he finished outside the points in 12th.

"One week ago we had a similarly good qualifying, but the next day went wrong.

"We've started pretty well, now we need to make sure tomorrow that we get some of those Easter eggs - Easter points!"

The team had a strong record in Bahrain in its former incarnation as Lotus F1. It put both drivers on the podium in 2012 and 2013, and Hulkenberg is hoping some of that good luck will carry over to Renault in 2017.

"I hope we can continue that story!" he said.

"It's difficult to tell, to be honest," when pressed about what he felt might be possible on Sunday. "Early in the season obviously still. Last Sunday we were lacking race pace in the dry and the balance didn't feel great.

"We've tried a couple of different things. The car is a bit different from last week. Hopefully tomorrow the pace is good and we can keep up."

Hulkenberg added that he wasn't concerned about the temperatures which are so much hotter this weekend than in China.

"It's okay I think. it's not either-or. It's working well in these conditions. But I don't think cooler or hotter necessarily will one way of the other."

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