Di Resta hails step forward
British driver thinks Force India have made a big improvement
Last Updated: 08/02/12 3:56pm
Paul di Resta believes Force India have taken a "massive" step forward compared to the position they were in one year ago.
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The British driver completed 101 laps on the first day of pre-season testing at Jerez in the Silverstone-based squad's new VJM05 challenger.
Di Resta set the second fastest time of the day, with the Lotus of the returning Kimi Raikkonen finishing ahead of him by just over a tenth of a second.
And the 25-year-old, who retained his seat at the team after impressing during his rookie campaign last year, was more than satisfied with the day's running.
"We got through all our programme, and a bit more, because we had a good approach," Di Resta said.
"It was all fairly good and we can be relatively happy with the work we've done over the winter and what the guys have achieved.
"All the fancy engine modes have gone, as have the exhausts, and we've lost a ton of downforce, but the car is well balanced.
"That gives you encouragement that what has gone on in the background, with simulations and stuff, is working well.
"If we look where we were a year ago compared to where we are now, it is a massive step up the road. It's almost three seconds.
"All I can say is it was a very productive day. We can be happy with what we've done. It's a good starting point to work away."
However, Di Resta did warn against reading too much into his impressive display, pointing out that the fastest car in pre-season testing does not always carry that pace over into the season proper.
"We achieved 101 laps on the first day out, which means mileage and reliability were good, which is always a positive," he added.
"Now, all this test is about is gathering information. It's not about performance. Somebody asked me earlier, 'who was fastest at this test last year?' and I didn't know, and then they told me it was Rubens (Barrichello in a Williams).
"I couldn't tell you who was then fastest in the Barcelona test last year, but I could tell you who was on pole at the first race.
"That's all this test is fundamentally about, correlating what is happening back at the factory to ensure the next upgrade we bring before Melbourne works.
"So you just need to make sure the car is the same as the information you are getting from the wind tunnel."