Di Resta looking forward
Force India driver targets cars ahead of him on the grid
By Mike Wise in Montreal. Last Updated: June 10, 2012 2:25am
Paul di Resta sees no reason why he cannot gather another fistful of points in the Canadian Grand Prix after achieving his and Force India's best qualifying result of the season on Saturday.
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The Scot will line up eighth on the grid for Sunday's race, with di Resta outqualifying the likes of Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button as well as team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, who starts 13th.
Although admitting that he might find it difficult to keep the two World Champions behind him, di Resta is still targeting the likes of Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa, who start immediately ahead.
"Any points, I think, would be welcome," di Resta said. "You can't say how many: we are starting in front of a Mercedes and a McLaren, so already you've a tough job. But why should we give up? We shouldn't we challenge some of the others in front? Because we've had the pace this weekend to do it."
Force India's car seems well-suited to the long straights and tight bends that make up the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. The layout is typified by its third and final sector, where only polesitter Sebastian Vettel was quicker than Di Resta in qualifying.
Indeed, the 26-year-old felt he could have outqualified Grosjean as well but said he pushed too hard on his only flying lap in Q3, setting a time in fact slightly slower than that he had managed in session two.
"(It was) probably a missed opportunity - I probably should have been in front of a Lotus but I tried just a little bit more than I needed just through the chicanes, just basically trying to make a difference. Here, that's what it's all about," said di Resta, who has a sixth and two seventh places to his name so far this season.
"Our car is showing very strong in the last sector; it's the middle sector where it's on edge."
Track temperatures on Saturday were markedly higher than those experienced in the opening two practice sessions and with race day forecast to be hotter still, di Resta hopes he can capitalise.
"I've got no reason to say why it would be more negative for us. We had issues with warm-up yesterday, so clearly more temperature was needed. So we can look ahead and do what we want but there's no previous data here either for tyre wear over a race distance as well," added di Resta, referring to last year's race - the first for Pirelli in Canada, but one which was dominated by wet conditions.
"So it will be interesting, it will be different - and we'll just try and maximise what we can do and try and catch people off guard from it."