• Singapore Grand Prix

Force India able to challenge bigger teams - Di Resta

ESPN Staff
September 23, 2012 « Button rues soft tyre pace | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Paul di Resta secured the best result of his grand prix career with fourth place © Sutton Images

Paul di Resta believes his fourth place in the Singapore Grand Prix is proof that Force India can challenge the bigger teams in Formula One.

Having qualified fifth, di Resta ran strongly and finished less than four seconds behind third-placed Fernando Alonso. With the last two races seeing di Resta unable to capitalise on strong qualifying pace, he said he was pleased that he was able to convert his third-row starting position and is already targeting more of the same in Japan.

"It's great, obviously it's a relief to have a straightforward weekend for once," di Resta said. "The last two have been difficult but we've scored points. Obviously to come here and qualify where we did and transform that even better in the race to come fourth shows that the performance was there all weekend and we were able to challenge with the bigger teams. Keeping that up is the plan for Suzuka; it's two weeks away so hopefully we can keep our heads down and just enjoy this race first and then arrive there in good form.

Having been close behind Alonso throughout the final stint of the race, di Resta said he was actually hampered by the safety car that bunched the field up because it allowed Alonso to preserve his tyres.

"It would have been nice if the safety car hadn't come out because I think he was stuck in a bit of traffic at the point when we were able to go quicker at the end of the second stint. At the start of that stint I was able to stay with him but he just started to creep away in the last eight laps and you've got to know enough's enough. When you're challenging a Ferrari we'll take fourth place with both hands because it makes a big difference to our championship."

Di Resta added that he was aware such results could help him secure a move to a bigger team in the future.

"I've always said I want to be winning races; you get closer when you get results like this. Today is definitely my best day in Formula One so far so I'll enjoy that first and then hopefully the next six grands prix we can replicate it."

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