27 October 2013
Indian Grand Prix: 'Satisfied' Di Resta growing in confidence
Heading into Force India's home Grand Prix, Paul di Resta insisted that his confidence was growing back after a tough recent spell in the championship left him and the team briefly on the ropes.
It's not been the best of spells in F1 for Paul di Resta and Force India, who after a strong start to the 2013 world championship have been struggling through something of a mid-season slump of late. But heading into the team's home event this weekend in India, di Resta insisted that they were on the way back.
"I think we can be satisfied with the job we've done [in qualifying]," said di Resta on Saturday. "My lap in Q2 was very good, although I made a small mistake in the second to last corner, so I was maybe a couple of tenths away from the perfect lap.
"It definitely feels like we've made some progress recently and my confidence is growing with the way the car is working at the moment," he added. "Going into our home race we are only a couple of places away from points, so we're in the mix and if we can deliver the right strategy we should be able to come away with something."
"The indications from [Friday's] practice sessions suggested that we were looking slightly more competitive than in previous races, and I think our performance [on Saturday] confirms that," said Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India's team principal and managing director
"Both drivers felt that there was a little bit more performance in the car, but I don't think it would have changed our overall grid positions," he added.
"We will approach [Sunday's] race with points being the clear goal. It's something we have achieved for the past couple of years and I'm optimistic that we will have the race pace to take the fight to the cars around us and deliver some points in our home race," said Mallya ahead of the Indian Grand Prix.
Di Resta himself was showing no signs of the illness that had struck him mid-week, and which resulted in the team switching around their plans for test and reserve driver James Calado's FP1 outings, putting him in the seat at Buddh International Circuit to allow di Resta extra time to recover.
The Scot said on Sunday that he was feeling fine and now, and certainly race-fit and looking forward to the race itself. He'll start just ahead of his teammate Adrian Sutil, who qualified in 13th place on the grid at Greater Noida.
"P13 is more or less the position I expected today," admitted Sutil. "The balance was not perfect for my last run and I was suffering with some understeer, so maybe I could have been a couple of tenths quicker.
"As a team we are P12 and P13 so I think we're still in with a good chance of scoring points," he insisted. "The strategy options are quite limited because the medium tyre is a very good race tyre, more so than the soft.
"It's our home race and I really enjoy this track so I hope we can put on a good show tomorrow in front of the Indian fans," added Hulkenberg.
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