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Force India can keep McLaren at bay - di Resta

ESPN Staff
July 4, 2013 « Raikkonen unfazed by Red Bull interest | Rosberg out to 'annoy' Vettel »
Paul di Resta has scored points in all but one race this season despite starting the last three races from 17th or lower © Sutton Images
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Paul di Resta believes Force India has "a very strong chance" of finishing the season ahead of McLaren in the constructors' championship.

Following McLaren's poor start to the season it was Force India's aim to try and score as many points as possible while McLaren - notoriously good at developing a car - recovered. However, at Silverstone Force India scored with both cars while McLaren was pointless for the second race in succession and di Resta believes it is a good indicator of how the rest of the season will pan out.

"I think Silverstone was quite a crucial park to gauge people on," he said. "It was probably one of the tracks we were more nervous going there about how the car would perform. The wings and everything work at their maximum; downforce is obviously key and that's probably not one of our strongest points. We're very efficient and it was the strongest qualifying we've had all year.

"We know our car is normally good on low downforce tracks but we know it can be equally good in places like Suzuka. So they didn't seem to make any grounds forward where they were - although their race speed was a bit closer to ours - so if we can keep them at bay I think we've got a very strong chance of staying in front of them at the moment unless they dramatically change something."

Having been excluded from qualifying at Silverstone for being underweight - the third race in succession that he has had to start from the back three rows - di Resta said he was still pleased to have been fifth quickest on merit and was calm about the disqualification.

"I don't know what's been going on. On Saturday when I was told about the weight I couldn't help but laugh about it. I was so much more relaxed than I thought I would be, but I suppose the sense of relief was I knew it didn't influence the qualifying result; I knew I'd qualified fifth. So it didn't take any of that away because it was a kilo - that would have been 0.02s or something - so it didn't influence that. That's probably why it was different to other grands prix because I didn't get a chance to show what could be done at the others."

Asked if he felt like he had been cursed with the poor run of luck having been underweight, di Resta joked: "I've been eating a lot of pies this week!"