• Australian Grand Prix

Di Resta eyes step on to podium

ESPN Staff
March 14, 2013 « One of ten could win - Alonso | Vettel pays no attention to previous success »
Paul di Resta's best grand prix finish is fourth place © Sutton Images
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Paul di Resta is targeting a podium this year as he aims to cement his place in the sport going forward.

Di Resta is entering his third season as a Force India race driver and so far has a career-best finish of fourth at last year's Singapore Grand Prix. He does not yet know where his car will stack up against the opposition at this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, but said a podium is what he aspires to achieve before the end of the year.

"It's the next thing on my list of achievements," di Resta said. "We came very close in Singapore and it's not a secret that that will probably be the biggest target I've got this year. We'll set the goals of what we think is realistic, but I don't expect not to be racing the likes of Sauber and Williams [which both scored podiums last year].

"The likes of Mercedes, who we were racing last year, have made a step up by the looks of it, but never say never. This [in Australia] is really where the business starts, and where people are before that is a complete question mark."

Di Resta would not be drawn on his plans beyond 2013 but said it was crucial he performed well to cement his place in the sport.

"I'm not going to talk about contracts at the start of the season, but what I'm trying to do is build my reputation in Formula One to make sure I can secure myself a long time in the sport. Whether that will be here [at Force India] or somewhere else will come down to the opportunities when they arise. But let's not get carried away and let's think about the weekend ahead rather than next year, which will be a new era of Formula One and a great one to be a part of."

Asked what he would try to improve this year, he said: "Consistency is probably one of the things I want to work on and equally that's the way we've built the car - for consistency. If we can get the car in the proper operating window we can get big results and the more we can achieve that the more weekends we can do that.

"Essentially, if you're given the tools we know we can perform as a race team to do that. I just want to keep plugging away and come away from each weekend saying we achieved the most we could or very close to it. Over the year it all comes down to taking every opportunity because the likes of sixth or seventh place result is very good for this team. When you can get a few of those in a row it certainly makes a huge impact on the points tally."