Paul di Resta says he feels Sahara Force India
is currently 'punching above its weight' on the back of his strong run in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Scot came close to a maiden podium finish at the Sakhir circuit, falling just five laps shy of making a two-stop strategy pay dividends.
Admitting that fourth place had still been a 'great way to round off the fly-away races'
, di Resta insisted that the team was pushing a shard as possible to try and secure a podium finish even though it remained a midfield team at the current moment.
“They want a podium - well give me a faster car and I will get a podium!” he vowed in an interview with Sky Sports. “So if they work a bit harder in the design office and we get some more resources there is no reason we cannot do it. As a team we are performing to our maximum capacity, it is just a case of getting that bit more to give us a bit more comfort at the end of races and to get us in the position in qualifying every week to do that.
"It is certainly punching about its weight at the moment, it is a midfield team. You cannot say we are a team the same as McLaren. I have been part of this team for many years now and it has grown, but it takes years and years to get comfortable doing it and it will take a few more years yet. But when we get this car in the operating window, it is strong and we need to engineer that week in and week out."
Despite his strong run in Bahrain, di Resta's decision to go with two spots meant he was powerless to keep Romain Grosjean at bay towards the end, although he said the team's call on strategy had been the right one at the time.
"Maybe the last tyre choice, but I would definitely have made the same choice again given the information we had at the time,” he said when asked is there was anything he could have done differently. “You can always say on the two-stop you are compromised as slower cars got in front of us after their first stops and then after my first stop, I was stuck behind them for 12 laps losing time. But you just have to bite your teeth - it was definitely the right strategy for us and on another day we would probably have got a podium out of it.
"We should take a huge amount of credit from the first four grands prix, but the team are going to have to work hard and bring updates if they want this podium - they are going to have to work more for it than we are."