Paul di Resta, Force India, Valencia, 2011

Di Resta looking forward to racing old rivals

2011 F1 testing

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Paul di Resta, Force India, Valencia, 2011
Paul di Resta, Force India, Valencia, 2011

New Force India driver Paul di Resta shared the first day of testing with Nico H???lkenberg at Force India.

The split session have H???lkenberg an opportunity to acclimatise himself with the team and car and allow di Resta to see how the latest Pirelli tyres had changed since the Abu Dhabi test.

Di Resta praised the work Pirelli had done on the tyres:

I think Pirelli have done a great job to have achieved what they have achieved so far on the performance side of things. They tyre seems to be relatively consistent.

It’s difficult to predict too much, we’ve only had one day here, but on the performance side of things I think the direction they led us in in Abu Dhabi has certainly continued over to 2011.
Paul di Resta

He played down suggestions that his testing role for Force India last year would put him at an advantage compared to other recent new arrivals in the sport:

If you actually look back at how many laps I did at tracks we drove on last year it wasn’t a lot. And every track was new, there wasn’t a track that I had done. Even up to Silverstone, I hadn’t done that.

So it’s a hard one. In recent times they were getting more winter testing. It’s very restricted at the beginning of the year and it’s shared out between both drivers.

I did enjoy the whole experience last year. I enjoy working with all the guys. Thankfully that was able to continue over which I think was an important thing to do. Certainly this year it’s not all new.

Driving this car at the beginning of the year I think also just gets you back in the swing of things before it changes too much. Because I think too much change, being relatively inexperienced in Formula 1, isn’t a great thing.
Paul di Resta

Di Resta said he was looking forward to meeting up with old single-seater rivals again after his time in the DTM:

There was always concern that the route I took maybe wasn’t the best route to get into Formula 1. But there was no choice in it.

But at the same time, I loved racing with Mercedes-Benz, it was four great years of my life and something I’ll definitely look back on and say I enjoyed. It’s great, I think, for me to get to Formula 1, the first person out of the DTM.

At the same time I’m very happy to be back in Formula 1, racing with guys I’ve raced with all my career, the likes of Kubica, Hamilton, Vettel, Kobayashi – some of them even team mates. I’ve got a huge respect for what they’ve achieved and I would just like to one day to be racing them very competitively again.
Paul di Resta

However he stressed that the level of competition in the DTM should be underestimated:

I really wouldn’t say there’s much difference in the standard at the top. I think DTM’s hugely competitive and you can see that by the guys that have come in.

I’m sure if you asked David Coulthard, Mika Hakkinen or Ralf Schumacher what the level’s like in DTM, it is very high, it’s very competitive. Not only do you have one team mate to beat you have nine guys with the same equipment which keeps you at the top of your game because when you have a bad day there’s another three team mates with the same car that can do the same job.

So I think it definitely makes you work hard. Coming into Formula 1 I’ve got a lot of respect, as I say, for these guys, but I’ve raced against them before, I’ve beaten them on occasions, they’ve beaten me on occasions. I just hope that some day I can be at the top, getting the finishes that I came into this championship looking for.
Paul di Resta

And di Resta backed team mate Adrian Sutil ambition for the team to be challenging for podium places in 2011:

It’s definitely what the whole team’s ambitions are: regular points but definitely, when things are going right, to get on the podium. I don’t think that’s too far out of reach given what’s the team’s performed like at Spa and Monza in recent years.

This year, hopefully, they’ll be some more different tracks where we can get up to speed. But really it all comes down to Bahrain, when everybody gets their latest-spec car on the track in qualifying, it’ll give us an indication to see if it’s going to be a good year ahead or one with a lot of work. I’m sure anybody is a bit nervous of that all up the paddock.
Paul di Resta

2011 F1 testing

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15 comments on “Di Resta looking forward to racing old rivals”

  1. nico was faster than him today

    1. So?

      Were they racing?

    2. hulk had way more laps to get that time than paul did and how do we know if they were on the same tyres, fuel loads etc.

  2. Typo – “However he stressed that the level of competition in the DTM should be underestimated” Should be Shouldn’t.

  3. In fact, Christijan Albers was the first F1 driver who got promoted from DTM.

    *bring on the fuel hose jokes*

    1. He was first, but he was hosed off?

      1. Sakon Yamamoto!! his warth can’t save you when Kolles is in the team…

      2. Being pedantic, the first DTM driver to reach F1 was actually 1987 champion Eric Van De Poele, who drove for Modena, Brabham and Fondmetal from 1991 to 1992.

        Giancarlo Fisichella drove for Alfa Romeo in 1995 before he made his F1 debut for Minardi the following year.

        Juan Pablo Montoya, Ricardo Zonta and Alex Wurz all drove (for Mercedes, Mercedes and Opel respectively) in 1996, although the series was known as the ITC by then. Jan Magnussen also drove for Mercedes that year – after his one off F1 debut as McLaren’s reserve driver in place of Mika Hakkinen, but before he landed a full time drive with Stewart for 1997.

  4. did Markus Winkelhock not drive dtm first too?

    1. who I forgot to mention was the direct successor to Albers when Spiker gave him the hoof. So that was 2 in a row before you Paul…….

    2. And, in the same team as you!!! how did you miss that? (Spiker becoming Force india)

      Really could do with that edit button at 6am hehe :(

  5. This guy is good. Macau Grand Prix class of Hamilton, Rosberg, Kobayashi. Was very impressive. Crashed on the Lisboa bend trying to brake later then the competition- a true racer kind of driver. Will Be exciting to watch!

  6. Sorry, my mistake: he actually raced against Vettel , Sutil, Kobayashi and Buemi in Macau. The previous description of him crashing into liable when trying to outbrake the rest is accurate. Both he and Kobayashi went wide, if I remember correctly. This is common with racers in Macau. Same thing happened to Hamilton vs Rosberg.

  7. Ok all the best too him but I hope he doesn’t start acting cocky

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