2 August 2011
di Resta looking forward to Spa return
Buoyed by two good weeks for the Force India team, Paul di Resta is already eagerly anticipating the Belgian Grand Prix.
Paul di Resta is clearly hoping that Force India's recent record at Spa-Francorchamps can make the resumption of the 2011 F1 world championship as satisfying for him as the final race before the summer break.
The Scot, now more than halfway through his rookie season in the top flight, survived a close call with fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix before going on to record a personal best finish of seventh, and believes that the team's development programme, allied to its previous 'success' in Belgium, could yield another strong result when the series resumes after its traditional holiday period.
“I've only been there, in F3, about seven years ago, so I'm not predicting anything," he said of the dramatic Ardennes-based circuit, "All I can say is the team have had good success there in the past!”
di Resta's comments refer to team-mate Adrian Sutil's fifth-place in 2010, when Tonio Liuzzi also claimed tenth spot, and the even more impressive pole and second place claimed by Giancarlo Fisichella in 2009, and the Scot's confidence is buoyed by an apparent change of fortune for himself and Sutil in recent weeks.
“I think it was important," he said of his Hungaroring result, "After several races where things were out of my control, it feels great to score some good points. It's nice to have a race where everything goes well. I've lost a lot of valuable points, so we'll take it.
"We're chasing people in the constructors' championship and, given the result in Hungary, and the result the previous weekend for Adrian, it's been a massive couple of weeks for us. The team are pushing hard and it's nice to get two good results going into the August break. It will be nice now to have a bit of time to chill out and do some training, [and] the team need a bit of relaxation more than anybody because they've been flat out. We will recharge our batteries and come back fighting.”
di Resta's Budapest performance was particularly gratifying as he was able to get the better of his regular midfield rivals, and finish ahead of Mercedes' works driver Nico Rosberg after the German had been delayed by an extra stop for intermediate rubber after a brief shower struck the circuit.
“I just passed [Sutil and Sergio Perez - I think they went off behind me," he recalled, "After that, I was able to pull away from [Kamui] Kobayashi, which was encouraging. It was important to get a good first stint in and we did that. Maybe we didn't make the right call for the middle stint on the supersoft tyres but, through the last stint, I managed to pass five cars I think, and we showed our true pace."
The Scot also revealed that he had eschewed the opportunity to follow Rosberg's lead and stop for treaded tyres - a move that undoubtedly helped his quest for a solid points finish.
“In the second stint, I was fighting with Rosberg and he maybe had a better tyre choice but, in the end, he stopped for wets," he confirmed, "The team had called me in, but I was staying out because there wasn't that much rain.”
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