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Force India taking 'intelligent' approach to car development

ESPN Staff
April 4, 2013 « Horner adamant feud is over | Teams seeking extra winter test in 2014 »
Paul di Resta: "You need to make sure your last update is something that's quite fruity" © Sutton Images
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Paul di Resta is hoping Force India's "intelligent" approach to developing its car will continue to pay off this season and give it an advantage when it comes winding down the 2013 car focusing on 2014.

Force India got the season off to a strong start at the opening two rounds with impressive one-lap pace and an ability to make tyres last longer than most of its rivals. Di Resta believes the car's strengths are rooted in getting a full understanding of each part during testing rather than just chasing downforce figures by throwing untested upgrades at it.

"I think it is quite an intelligent way," he said. "We went to the last test in Barcelona with a car that was essentially the same as the one we had at the previous test, not bringing too many upgrades.

"I think that allowed us to work on the details and configuration of that car so that when we arrived in Melbourne it was in the window. I think you'd be surprised how little was changed over that weekend in Melbourne. It was more about gathering tyre life data because [prior to that] you only worked in Jerez and Barcelona, which in theory are the two roughest tracks we drive on. I think you need to make sure your data correlates and you're getting the same wear life figures."

Last year Force India ceased bringing major performance upgrades to its car not long after the midway point of the season but still saw an upwards turn in results. Di Resta said it will be crucial to do the same again this year.

"What you will need is to have a good rate of development until June or July. Then I think they will switch off, because how much do you focus on a car that goes out of date in the middle of November? My aim would be to make sure you can develop as much as you can until June and then essentially it will stabilise quite a lot.

"That will be the interesting part of Formula One, seeing where people stabilise. That's the way we worked last year and it was actually quite a constructive way of doing it.

"If everybody is getting the same idea you need to make sure your last update is something that's quite fruity and something that's got potential for you to work away with, and gain time using it on track."