Paul di Resta says Force India have made a stronger start than in previous years

Force India driver says consistent approach is working well

By Mike Wise at Sepang.   Last Updated: 21/03/13 10:09am

  • Share:
Paul di Resta: In the points in Melbourne

Paul di Resta: In the points in Melbourne

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Paul di Resta reckons Force India deserve the 'best of the rest' status they acquired in Melbourne, although he concedes that McLaren might soon have something to say about that.

The Scot made a positive start to the season at the Australian Grand Prix, finishing in eighth place. With team-mate Adrian Sutil taking the chequered flag directly ahead of him, it was also a promising result for Force India.

Now, according to di Resta, the challenge for them is to produce more of the same before McLaren, who are currently struggling to understand their new car, find the wherewithal to improve its performance.

F1 on Sky Sports in 2013

Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch every grand prix live in 2013.

Our dedicated F1 channel will broadcast every race, qualifying and practice session live, along with highlights shows, analysis and even more coverage via the Red Button.

Find out more at sky.com

"I wouldn't say we were surprised we're the fifth team but given where McLaren are, the sooner the races come the better, because they're going to be fast again and they'll be the ones who push us out," he said.

"We've definitely come out stronger than we have in previous years."

Di Resta was speaking on Thursday ahead of this weekend's Malaysian GP. He had a strong race at Sepang last year, finishing seventh, and after such a positive start to the current season the 26-year-old has targeted a similar result on Sunday.

"Coming here, I think we can be quite positive. We've come away with some strong positions over the last few years and coming here after what we achieved in Melbourne with the two-stop strategy (Kimi) Raikkonen used to win the race, I think we're on the right path," he said.

Di Resta also shrugged off the suggestion that, with Sutil leading what was his comeback race last weekend, he felt frustrated that his team-mate had finished ahead of him.

"I got into Q3," he asserted. "I qualified two laps on a set of supersofts and I put myself in the position as much as I could. The target all winter was getting into Q3 and we achieved that.

"I would much rather have had that approach," added di Resta, referring to the decision to start Sutil on prime tyres which propelled him to first place for two different spells in the race.

Both Force Indias stopped twice but di Resta got stuck behind Mark Webber and Jenson Button after they all pitted early to change their supersoft tyres.

"In the race it was the compromise of being stuck in traffic from lap seven to lap 20. That affected my race more than anything," di Resta said.

"It was a bit frustrating but at the end of the day it all comes back very quickly. There were points in the race where (Sutil) was quite a bit further up the road but you saw how quickly the gap can close. Two laps to go, it was equal."

Di Resta added that Force India's approach during pre-season testing - of establishing a consistent baseline with the VJM06 rather than pushing for performance gains - has been key to their promising start.

"I think it was a good winter and a good approach. We sacrified a lot of low fuel runs for high fuel runs and we were very aware of what we wanted to achieve and where we wanted to improve the car and I think we've done that," he said.

  • Share:

Related

Malaysian GP 2013

Ross Brawn says Mercedes do not favour Lewis Hamilton over Nico Rosberg

Brawn: No number one at Merc

Ross Brawn has insisted there is no number one driver at Mercedes after calling off the battle for third in Malaysia.

Sebastian Vettel (right): Overtook Webber to win Malaysian Grand Prix

Villeneuve: Vettel was wrong

Jacques Villeneuve believes Sebastian Vettel was wrong to ignore his team's instructions at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Christian Horner: Has no doubt that Mark Webber will see out his contract

Horner: 'Webber will stay on'

Red Bull chief Christian Horner has insisted that Mark Webber will remain with the team for the rest of the 2013 season.

Related Profiles

Most Popular

Features

Welcome to Hungary!

Welcome to Hungary!

Natalie Pinkham and Martin Brundle sample some rather unique seats to preview the weekend.

Hungary preview

Hungary preview

From the drivers' form guide to the Sky F1 TV times, it's everything you need to know about the Hungarian GP.

Daniel Ricciardo Q&A

Daniel Ricciardo Q&A

You sent in your questions, we got Ricciardo to answer them. Check out what the Aussie had to say.