Force India team boss Vijay Mallya has backed Paul di Resta to bounce back from his recent run of poor form, which with the team insists is largely down to the revisions made to the Pirelli tyres.
Pirelli made changes to its tyres following the British Grand Prix, with Force India
then failing to score in the two races that followed in Germany and Hungary.
The Silverstone-based team had been one that had previously mastered the tyres provided by Pirelli, with di Resta in particular impressing with seven points finishes from the first eight races.
That record came despite the Scot being forced to bounce back from a tough qualifying result on more than one occasion, and Mallya admitted that the team needed to better understand to the tyres to allow the 27-year-old to return to form.
"The tyres have played an important part in determining performance the whole season," Mallya was quoted by Sporting Life
. "We invested in resources to understand the tyres better and that worked for us very well, which is evident in our position as we are fifth in the constructors' championship.
"But after Silverstone the tyres changed. It would be fair to say we are going up a steep learning curve to try and understand these tyres better. In the last race in Budapest, Paul in particular struggled with his tyres all weekend. They did absolutely nothing for him. He was unusually uncompetitive.
"You know Paul's track record. Whenever we as a team have made a mistake and he has had to start from a position he shouldn't have, he has finished in the points, but in Hungary nothing worked for him.
"So Hungary was forgettable as far as I'm concerned, but hopefully we'll get on top of the tyre situation before the next race in Belgium, and come back as strong as we were from then on."
Mallya added that di Resta's issues in Hungary were down more to his driving style than to any problems with his car.
"That problem is specific to Paul. It's not a car problem because the same thing would have happened to Adrian as well," he said. "It's a problem we need to fix for Paul, and we know we can because Adrian was comfortable with the tyres.
"The two have very different driving styles - Adrian is harder on his tyres, Paul is softer, can make them last longer. Therefore, maybe it takes a lot longer for him to get heat into the tyres and for them to start functioning. It can be a whole range of things.
"So it would be wrong on my part to admonish the car at this stage."