Force India rookie Paul di Resta says he’s aiming for a top-ten qualifying result and world championship points in this weekend’s European Grand Prix as he seeks to continue his impressive acclimatisation to Formula One.
The Scottish racer has enjoyed dominance over experienced team-mate Adrian Sutil on Saturday afternoons, out-qualifying the German 6-1 in the opening seven grand prix of his rookie campaign. His best performance thus far came in China, where he lined up an eye-catching eighth on the grid,
And di Resta reckons another Q3 Saturday followed by points on Sunday is possible on the Valencia street circuit.
“In terms of my objectives, I think I’d be fairly happy if we can be pushing to make the top ten in qualifying and racing for points,” said the Force India driver. “We saw in Canada that this is a realistic goal and I think the layout of the track should play to the strengths of our car. Hopefully we will have some new parts coming as well so that we can focus on taking another step forward.”
Di Resta contested FP1 in Valencia for Force India last season and, despite limited running, does feel the circuit will be that great a challenge.
“It’s difficult for me to talk much about Valencia having only done one practice session there last year. What I do remember is that I quite enjoyed the track and it wasn’t too difficult to learn. Although it’s a long lap there are not that many difficult corners and the main characteristic is the long straight.
“Because of the long straights I think Valencia is another track where we will see a big advantage with the DRS. That should make some good opportunities for overtaking and it will be interesting to see how the FIA approach this when setting the DRS activation zone so that overtaking doesn’t become too easy. Tyre wear will also be a crucial factor for the weekend because it’s another street track and it’s difficult to predict how the tyres will perform.”
25-year-old di Resta has thus far scored two points from his first seven races in F1, taking tenth place finishes in Australia and Malaysia.