It was announced in December that the German, who was dropped by Williams at the end of the 2010 season, has been promoted to a race seat at Force India having served as their test and reserve driver last year.
"It was a huge relief and now I am really excited to start the new season," Hulkenberg told GPUpdate.net.
"Obviously I knew a bit earlier than the announcement was made. But still, it was a long and hard time not knowing about my future."
The 24-year-old is also hoping that Force India can maintain the strong form they showed at the end of last season in 2012.
The Silverstone-based team earned just 12 points in the first nine grands prix of 2011 but scored 57 in the final ten races to finish sixth in the constructors' championship.
Asked if Force India could start the new season as they finished the old, Hulkenberg said: "I think it is possible.
"However, it will not be easy at all. We had a strong package at the end of the season, so obviously we want to continue from where we stopped.
"For me personally, I just want to establish myself in Formula 1. I want to deliver well to make sure I will still be in the sport in 2013 and many years beyond.
"I cannot say figures like 'I want to have X amount of points' - that is not possible. I want to do as well as possible and meet the team's expectations."
Hulkenberg did, however, play down his chances of getting the upper hand over team-mate Paul di Resta, particularly at the start of the year.
"Obviously in Formula 1 you always want to beat your team-mate. This will be very tough, because Paul is very talented and has a good approach," he added.
"Plus, I will need some races to re-find my former level of performance. But we will hopefully push each other and, by doing that, push the team forward as well."