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di Resta admits Sauber out of reach as F1 reaches conclusion

Paul di Resta believes that Sahara Force India could be chasing shadows when it comes to the fight for sixth place in the 2012 F1 constructors' standings.
Paul di Resta has admitted that it is unlikely that Sahara Force India will be able to better its current seventh place in the F1 constructors' championship, despite there being two races still to run on the 2012 schedule.

The team, which finished sixth overall last season, has been embroiled in a battle to retain the place with Sauber for much of the year, but trails the Swiss squad by 29 points with just the US and Brazilian grands prix remaining. Although there are potentially 86 points on the table for a brace of 1-2 finished, di Resta is aware that Force India is unlikely to be a podium contender, let alone racewinners, even though he is confident that seventh place is safe.

“I think, under normal circumstances, you'd probably say Sauber are out of reach,” the Scot conceded, “Williams looked good in Abu Dhabi, but I think we're in a strong enough position to defend from them.”

This weekend's US Grand Prix is the first to take place at the all-new Circuit of the Americas in Texas, which could potentially throw up a few surprises for the teams. di Resta, however, believes that the facility will follow the trend set by other recent newcomers, meaning that the status quo remains.

“Austin will be an unknown, but it's a new track, so it's likely to be similar to Abu Dhabi, with new tarmac and a smooth surface,” he mused, “I've seen some maps of the circuit, but the main preparation will come from my simulator session on the Monday of race week, so I'll arrive in America with it fresh in my mind.”

Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg has already had a chance to sample the Austin circuit on the simulator, and sees nothing unduly threatening about the layout.

“It's pretty much an average medium-speed track with a lot of elevation changes,” he commented, “Turns three to six are high-speed with lots of change of direction - a bit like Maggotts and Becketts at Silverstone – but there are some big stops and some low-speed sections towards the end of the lap too. It's pretty much a bit of everything.

The German's race in Abu Dhabi was over almost as soon as it had begun, but he insists that it is already in the past and his focus is fully on Austin.

“To be honest, I'm over it already,” he maintained, “There's no point looking back - when you have a bad race, it just makes you more determined to get back in the car as quickly as possible!”

di Resta could easily have joined his team-mate in an early bath, having also been caught up in the first lap incident, but escaped needing only a tyre change on his car, which had been introduced to the Force India fleet for Yas Marina in a bid to counter handling problems on his previous mount.

“[Abu Dhabi] was an eventful race, and we have to be happy with the points, given the puncture I had on lap one,” the Scot admitted, “I think the chassis change was the right thing to do and definitely improved our performance level. In terms of race pace, the car was strong, I overtook a lot of cars and without the puncture we could definitely have had a stronger day, so there's every reason to believe we can be competitive [in Austin].”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Race: The crash of Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05 and Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW34
Race: Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
Aerial view of the Circuit of the Americas
Actor Patrick Dempsey blasts a Ferrari GT car down the main straight at the new Circuit of the Americas
Free Practice 2: Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
09.09.2012- Race,  Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31 leads Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
Breast Cancer Care link up with Force India to raise awareness
14.05.2017 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36 and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
14.05.2017 - Race, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
14.05.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H leads Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
14.05.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
14.05.2017 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
14.05.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36
14.05.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36.
(L to R): Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1, as the grid observes the national anthem.
Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Sauber C36.

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