Paul di Resta confident of strong 2013 season with new Force India VJM06
By Berthold Bouman
Paul di Resta was the only Force India driver present at the launch of the new Force India VJM06 today at Silverstone, the Indian team owned by Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya still has to announce their second driver.
Meanwhile, di Resta is confident of a strong 2013 season with the brand-new VJM06. The Scot had a well-deserved winter break, but is now looking forward to get behind the wheel again. Di Resta is well-prepared for the 2013 season, “I had some good productive training with Gerry Convy and I think this year I can actually read my energy levels and really look at when is the right time to be training, when you feel ready, and when you feel strongest. I’m keen and eager to get back in the car and get back to business.”
But he also wants to make a stronger start than in 2012, “I think the pressure is on all the departments to make sure we start better, last year we under performed, certainly until the European season kicked in. We did get some good results before that — in the rain in Malaysia and in Bahrain, where we just got everything together and managed to achieve something remarkable that early in the season.”
One of the changes this season is that the Drag Reduction System (DRS) can no longer be used during free practice and in qualifying is restricted to the same zones as during the race. Will this make a difference? “In my mind I see it as a safer approach and it’s what most of the drivers want. I think ultimately the bigger teams with more downforce had the advantage, because they were coming out with double DRS systems and so on. Also, it was touch and go where you could use DRS. Some teams could use it through the corners, whereas we were closing it,” said di Resta.
The Force India VJM06 – Photo: Force India
And he added, “Ultimately it’s fine as long as the FIA make sure the DRS is quicker over the lap and it gives you the switch and the gear ratio choice for overtaking — that is why it was introduced. It’s not there to be a performance-enhancing device in qualifying.”
All teams have been able to test the new 2013 Pirelli tyres during the weekend of the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, asked about his thoughts di Resta said, “It will be interesting to see how it will affect the car. The day we tried them in Brazil we experienced the hottest track temperature all year — it was baking hot! They performed well.”
He is satisfied with the Pirelli tyres, “Pirelli has done a very good job over the last couple of years and the tyres do what they should do — they wear out and when you put a fresh set on you go quicker!”
Pirelli has promised more pit stops this year, which is good according to di Resta, “Last year we probably saw a few issues where there were not enough pit stops. We want to see races with more pit stops and more strategy coming into it.”
Asked about how optimistic he is ahead of this season he replied, “I’m feeling very good, I must say. I’m working very closely with my team of people, and that’s changed slightly in different departments.”
“We’re all trying to do the best job possible. Whether it’s managing time and making sure you’re in the best frame of mind or whether that’s on-track performance and the finer details of the car set-up, ultimately it’s all about performance and results. I know the way this team works and they know how I work. When it all gels well we can obviously see the results we get. We just need to make sure we can achieve that on a more consistent basis.”
Paul di Resta in the VJM06 at Silverstone today – Photos: Force India