Force India F1 2011 rookie Paul di Resta has predicted that the Marina Bay street circuit – home to this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix – 'is probably going to be one of the more difficult tracks to get up-to-speed on', but he is adamant that he is more than up for the challenge.
The Reigning DTM Champion and former F3 Euroseries Champion has impressed many during the course of his maiden campaign in the top flight this year, and eighth place last time out on his Monza debut in the Italian Grand Prix was one of his most eye-catching efforts to-date. It was, he reflects, pretty much the maximum attainable.
“I don't think we could have achieved any more, to be honest,” the Scot mused. “I think that's where our performance level was. We struggled in general with the car's performance and we were fighting all the way, so picking up four points was a great result. There were a lot of different approaches going on in that race, with some teams concentrating more on race pace than qualifying. It shows you can never underestimate any team.”
Singapore will be a completely new experience for di Resta, and he confesses that he fears he will be on the back foot somewhat in relation to his rivals who have driven there before.
“Just the usual stuff, really, working on the simulator and looking at on-board videos,” the 25-year-old explained of his preparations for the weekend. “I was there last year watching and walked the track, so I know the layout – but it's true that Singapore is probably going to be one of the more difficult tracks to get up-to-speed on because it's such a long lap. Also, with any street circuit you need to build up your confidence over the weekend.
“I definitely enjoy the challenge, though, and you have to take a slightly different approach to them. It's all about having as much time in the car so that you can push right to the limits of the track. We will also need to keep an eye on the weather because any rain storms could hamper things. I just hope we get some dry weather while I learn the track.”