Paul di Resta has said that he'd like to see temperatures soar ahead of next month's Spanish Grand Prix, after revelling in a Force India car that appeared suited to the hotter conditions in Bahrain last weekend.
The Scot, on a two-stop strategy, came within five laps of claiming a maiden podium, and Force India's first since Giancarlo Fisichella missed on victory in similar circumstances at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix, at Sakhir, but was on the pace all weekend, regularly posting top six times throughout practice and qualifying. In the end, his pursuit of third place was undone by Romain Grosjean, who benefited from missing the Q2 cut in qualifying.
“It's obviously a bit disappointing so late in the race, but the strategy we were on, you were always going to be vulnerable at the end,” di Resta told the official Force India website, “Unfortunately, [Grosjean] not doing so well in qualifying cost us, because he had two new sets of medium tyres and, when you're on a three stop, that was the key.”
Fourth place still echoed the Scot's best result in the top flight, achieved in Singapore last season, and gave him encouragement for the rest of the season.
“I'll take the positives from that, it was by far probably the strongest grand prix we've had,” he enthused, “We had a good opening stint, and showed a lot of strength at some points. You have to maximise what you can. We got fourth and, at the end of the day, that's all that was out there for us.
“There's definitely a lot to be optimistic about. We got fourth in Singapore last year, [but] it took a long time to match that. I've got to say thank to the guys, because over the weekend we got 100 per cent out of that car.
“We should be happy with what we achieved in Bahrain – qualifying in the top seven and then running very strongly in parts of the race. Had we scored a lot of points in Malaysia, which we were on course to do, this would have been a very successful first four races. I'm looking forward to Barcelona.”
Although the run in Malaysia was thwarted by a batch of faulty wheelnuts, Force India has been the best of the rest behind the expected top five teams, and di Resta sees no reason why it cannot be a factor when the season resumes in Spain next month.
“You can definitely see that the heat helps us, so I would certainly like it to be very
hot in Barcelona,” he admitted, “But, whatever it is, it will be the same for everybody.”