• Italian Grand Prix

Di Resta pessimistic on McLaren fight

ESPN Staff
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Paul di Resta qualified fourth at Monza last year but a grid penalty saw him start ninth © Sutton Images

Paul di Resta believes Force India will have to settle for sixth place in the constructors' championship having been overtaken by McLaren.

Force India made a strong start to the season while McLaren struggled, allowing it to open up a comfortable gap in fifth place after the British Grand Prix. However, since that race McLaren has scored 28 points to Force India's two following changes to the Pirelli tyres. With di Resta highlighting the tyre tweak as the reason for the turnaround, he said it was unlikely Force India would be able to realistically target fifth in the constructors' any longer.

"Realistically we'll fight hard but if you look at it they've certainly moved on," di Resta said. "The first stint in Spa I was in an unfortunate position and I fought my way back through and was behind Jenson [Button] and he was three or four tenths a bit quicker. That's all we could really have to do it. If the tyre hadn't changed I think we would have probably been definitely where they are. I don't know whether we would have been in front of them but it would have been a good battle.

"At the moment I think you kind of have got to try and settle for sixth where we are, but that means all efforts will still be pushing to do what we can because if we can unleash a bit more potential from the car - which we know if we do get it right, it works - it's just trying to find that sweet spot that we found in the way it was working before."

However, di Resta was optimistic Force India could chase a strong result at Monza as he feels the car will be well suited to the circuit.

"We've worked quite hard on this package; put a lot of effort in because we believe it's one of the tracks that should normally suit the style of the car. It was strong last year but with a different approach to what we thought and how we would probably end up racing it. It would be quite satisfying to have a repeat of where we qualified last year on track and that was P4, but that's not underestimating where other people are.

"I suppose the other thing to pick up on is that we were strong in sectors one and three in Spa and weak in sector two which is the downforce sector. Generally here it's about efficiency and drag that really plays in to the hands, so I'm feeling positive at the moment ahead of the weekend."

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