The Swiss team scored four podiums last year, while Hulkenberg's strong end to his Force India season included battling for victory in Brazil.
But Hulkenberg said that did not necessarily their union would guarantee more success.
"It changes nothing for me. I was leading a race towards the end of last year and Sauber almost won two races but that was last year," he said.
"We are in a new year, a new situation, you can't take it for granted that it will be the same. Nobody knows.
"I don't expect to surprise everybody. I would love to, of course, and I'm sure the team would as well.
"Always the team and driver looks for a good relationship and a successful season. But we will have to wait and see where we are in terms of pecking order."
The German said his aim for Australia was just to get into the points.
"It's always difficult to know going into a new season with just winter testing," he said.
"But as a default target, a top 10 in both qualifying and the race is always your desire and what you come to fight for."