Force India boss Vijay Mallya praises Paul Di Resta's 2013 performances
Team Principal says Scottish driver has matured over the winter
By William Esler. Last Updated: 08/05/13 12:56pm
Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya has praised Paul Di Resta's early season form, stating that he is driving the team forwards in 2013.
The Briton narrowly missed out on a podium finish in Bahrain and currently sits eighth in the Drivers' Championship - ahead of Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and both McLaren drivers.
Di Resta's pace is a marked turnaround from the end of 2012 when he managed just one points finish in the final six races, and Mallya feels the turnaround has taken great mental strength.
"The performances of Paul Di Resta confirm just how much he has matured as a driver," the 57-year-old said.
"He's delivering consistently every week and we are reaping the rewards of all his hard work. He suffered a difficult end to the 2012 season, but he's shown great mental strength and determination to regroup over the winter and recapture his best form. He's pushing the team on and demanding the best from everyone, which is what we need.
"Having come so tantalisingly close to the podium with Paul last time out, we head to Barcelona full of optimism. The hard work everyone is putting in is paying off and we hope to see the rewards this coming weekend."
Force India currently sit fifth in the Constructors' Championship and despite most teams bringing major update packages to this weekend's Spanish GP, Di Resta is hopeful Force India can continue to punch above their weight.
"The car is performing well, especially in the heat, and we were also strong in the cooler conditions of China - so that's a good sign," the Scot said.
"The key is making sure you find the right operating window whatever the conditions because that's what makes the difference. We need to keep doing what we're doing, but at the same time we know the return to Europe always sees every team bring more upgrades. Hopefully we can stay fighting with the big teams and keep picking up the points."