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Tyres behind di Resta's struggle - Mallya

ESPN Staff
August 8, 2013 « Sutil has lost respect for Hamilton | Mercedes prepares for gradual shift of power to Lowe »
Paul di Resta qualified and finished 18th in Hungary © Sutton Images
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Force India team principal Vijay Mallya has put Paul di Resta's recent struggles down to the changes in tyre construction at recent races, but is confident his driver will bounce back.

After scoring points at seven of the first eight races of the season, di Resta struggled for pace at the German and Hungarian grands prix with his worst finish of the season at the Hungaroring. One of Force India's strengths this year has been managing the peaky performance of the 2013 tyres, but after multiple blowouts at the British Grand Prix the rear tyres were changed for Germany and then all four were revised to a 2012-style construction in Hungary.

The tyres will remain the same until the end of the season and Mallya says it is crucial di Resta and the team learn to work with them.

"The tyres have played an important part in determining performance the whole season," he was quoted by Sporting Life. "We invested in resources to understand the tyres better and that worked for us very well, which is evident in our position as we are fifth in the constructors' championship. But after Silverstone the tyres changed. It would be fair to say we are going up a steep learning curve to try and understand these tyres better.

"In the last race in Budapest, Paul in particular struggled with his tyres all weekend. They did absolutely nothing for him. He was unusually uncompetitive. And you know Paul's track record. Whenever we as a team have made a mistake and he has had to start from a position he shouldn't have, he has finished in the points, but in Hungary nothing worked for him.

"So Hungary was forgettable as far as I'm concerned, but hopefully we'll get on top of the tyre situation before the next race in Belgium, and come back as strong as we were from then on."

Mallya added that di Resta's driving style meant he was suffering more than team-mate Adrian Sutil.

"Yes, Paul had a problem, but that problem is specific to Paul. It's not a car problem because the same thing would have happened to Adrian as well," added Mallya. "It's a problem we need to fix for Paul, and we know we can because Adrian was comfortable with the tyres. The two have very different driving styles - Adrian is harder on his tyres, Paul is softer, can make them last longer. Therefore, maybe it takes a lot longer for him to get heat into the tyres and for them to start functioning. It can be a whole range of things. So it would be wrong on my part to admonish the car at this stage."