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Rediff.com  » Sports » This year I feel a lot more confident: Di Resta

This year I feel a lot more confident: Di Resta

Last updated on: March 14, 2012 16:41 IST

Di Resta impressed in his rookie year in F1

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Force India driver Paul di Resta discusses his first season in F1 and targets for 2012 with Harish Kotian.

Paul di Resta impressed in his rookie year in Formula One. The 25-year-old Force India driver earned 27 points to finish the 2011 season in 13th place, making aficionados of the sport sit up and take notice of his potential.

- Images: Force India F1 car VJM01 launched

This season the British racing driver takes upon the responsibility of senior driver at Force India following the departure of Adrian Sutil, whose place has been taken by Nico Hulkenberg. The German is sure to provide the Scot a healthy, but tough, challenge in the team.

Rediff.com caught up with Di Resta when he was in Mumbai last week.


Image: Paul di Resta
Photographs: Sahara Force India

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'It was very positive for a first season in Formula One'

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You impressed last year, scoring 27 points in 19 races, to finish 13th in the Drivers' Championship in your first season as F1 driver. Were you satisfied with your performance? Do you feel you could have achieved more?

I would not say satisfied, because in life you always want more; to do better.

Obviously, there were ups and down, but I think when you look back on paper it was very positive for a first season in Formula One. I will be critical and want more from it; but I will be realistic, because I was up against the best guys in the world. And when you are inexperienced and going to new circuits all the time, it is a big challenge.

- Force India's main goal is reliability: Sutil

This year I feel a lot more confident, lot more comfortable, a lot settled in my mind and focussed on what to achieve. That is what is going to drive me to another level.


Photographs: Sahara Force India

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'We punched way above our weight last year'

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How are you looking towards the new season?

As long it [the performance] is up... that's the main thing. Given that you are a midfield team, it is very hard to set yourself targets. We have ambitions and we are pushing on to improve as a team and that is where the focus is at the moment.

- Force India can finish fifth: Sutil

Is there any pressure to deliver the results this seasons considering how much money goes into the running of the team?

I think, as a team, we punched way above our weight last year. Each year the team has moved up another notch in the last four years since Vijay Mallya took over the team. To maintain where we are will be an incredible challenge, but everybody has a passion and determination at the moment given where we finished last year to achieve that.

Obviously, the introduction of Sahara and new investment will hopefully lift this team to another level.


Photographs: Sahara Force India

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'We are going to Melbourne as best prepared as we can'

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Are you happy with the car for the 2012 season?

We have had a relatively good winter; we have undertaken all our testing obligations. We have co-related the car well between wind tunnel, CFD, and the on track performance. But comparing where we are in relation to other teams is a very difficult thing to read at the moment. We will all know that in Melbourne.

We are going to Melbourne as best prepared as we can, with the tools we have. That race will give us the line on whether we need to work harder or where our focus is going to go. At the end of the day, whatever the car is, you want more speed from it coming through in races.

I think the target should definitely be to win points, and, hopefully, be where we left last year, and that is getting to Q3 in qualifying and then fighting for sixth, seventh and eighth places on a good day.


Photographs: Sahara Force India
Tags: CFD , Melbourne

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'We started poorly last season'

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You said on Twitter after the winter testing that there are some things that need improvement. Can you tell us exactly what areas of improvement you are looking for?

We have highlighted some issues and some things, and if we improve them we are going to rapidly improve our performance and speed.

The team understands that and is taking measures to work on it. It is nothing major, but, basically, about the new car design. You see the developments as you keep racing.

What difficulties did you face last season and would like to improve upon this time?

I think we started poorly last season. We had quite a difficult winter because we were changing our philosophy with the wind tunnel in the design department. The structure was not stab#8804 the stability has been better this year.

I think you will see the difference this year. In fact, you saw some difference in the middle of last year, in June-July, when the upgrades were coming through and when we understood what we were trying to do. It was always going to be a sacrifice for the first part of the year and things changed very quickly. We have changed the car a lot during the winter testing based on what we learnt last year and I am sure we will see another rapid improvement.


Photographs: Sahara Force India
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'Coulthard is a great guy to have around for advice'

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Your fellow-Scot and former F1 driver David Coulthard says you have the potential to become one of the greats in the sport. How does it feel to get such compliments from a top driver like Coulthard?

David is a very good friend and he also comes from Scotland. We train every morning together; we live 200 metres from each other. He is a great guy to have around for advice with the amount of experience he has and success he has achieved. Hopefully, whatever he has said will come true one day.


Photographs: Sahara Force India

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