Paul di Resta admitted that it had been a difficult weekend so far for the Force India team, with neither car making it through Q2 in Saturday qualifying. But he insisted that things were coming together just in time to make real success a possibility in the Spanish Grand Prix itself on Sunday afternoon.

"It was only during the my final qualifying run that we made a change to the aero balance and I felt that the car was really hooked up," said di Resta. "We've been fairly aggressive on set-up and our pace over longs runs has looked quite competitive so far this weekend, which gives us a reason to be optimistic for the race."

Starting from 12th place on the grid, di Resta added that "I think it will be a big achievement if we can pick up some points."

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Nico Hulkenberg will be starting one place behind him on the grid at the Circuit de Catalunya, but thinks that the starting position is not as critical in Barcelona as it is at other circuits.

"The races so far this year have shown that grid position is not as crucial as it used to be with a lot of movement in the races, so I think we can still have a good race," he said. "I'm pretty satisfied with my final lap in Q2 ... I don't think we could have achieved much more from the session today."

Like most of the other teams up and down pit road, Force India come to today's race with a whole load of upgrades that they hope will improve the performance of both cars, although it's taking some time to get everything bedded in.

"We are still getting to understand the upgrades we have on the car," agreed Hulkenberg. "It's also clear that everyone else has made a step forward here and so the midfield remains extremely tight.

"The team has done an excellent job over the last few weeks to push through our upgrade package and get it on the car this weekend," said deputy team principal Bob Fernley. "It's still early days and I'm sure that over the coming races we can fine-tune things further and extract even more performance. With that in mind I think we can take encouragement from our qualifying showing.

"We've been pleased with our tyre wear and the performance over long runs suggests we are in good shape for a competitive race," he added.