Di Resta not thinking about 2011 yet
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer||Wednesday, July 7th 2010, 16:57 GMT|
Force India reserve driver Paul di Resta says he is trying to stay focused on doing the best job he can in practice this year and not think too much about his chances of landing a race seat in 2011.
Di Resta is enjoying more Formula 1 mileage than any other test driver this season as he is driving the Force India in opening practice at the majority of grands prix.
The team has made it clear that it wants the Scot to be well prepared should any racing opportunity open up, but di Resta said he had not been given any indication of his chances of landing a full-time race drive next year yet.
"I'm focused on what the programme is for this year," he told reporters during a pre-Silverstone briefing. "It's taking one step at a time because it is a big task this year.
"Hopefully I'm impressing the team enough that I can build a future. It's certainly a great team to be part of. I'd love to be driving one of their cars next year, so fingers crossed.
"I'll just keep up with the progress I've been continuing on. I'm not going to go into what my contract is, but this year we have a clear path. We're on that path now, and all I can say is we hopefully progress forward."
He said having Anthony Hamilton, who oversaw his son Lewis's rise to F1, as a manager was proving to be a real bonus.
"He's very focused on my ambitions," said di Resta. "He's seen me through my career so far, he knows what I'm capable of, and he's equally pushing for it as much as I am.
"Hopefully we can achieve that. His work is being done in the background."
Di Resta pointed out that he could not push flat-out to show his raw speed in the practice sessions as it was essential for him to stay out of trouble and gather data for the race weekend - and to hand the car back to Adrian Sutil or Tonio Liuzzi in one piece for second practice. But he is confident he is still proving his capabilities to Force India.
"It's always in the back of your mind these things aren't the easiest things to manage when they do break grip, and it's just about driving under that," he said.
"Valencia was quite difficult because the tyres did degrade quite a lot and you wanted to push on. It is a difficult balance.
"But the people who understand it the most are the team here. They know what's going on, what programmes we have, what parts we have on the car, and they can judge that better than anybody.
"I know within myself, but I need to try and prove I'm consistent, but also give good feedback and the necessary information they need to evaluate their car and go forward, and certainly keep the development process up."
He added: "I always pressure myself that I want to be quick, but I don't feel any pressure from the team.
"They understand I'm driving new circuits, and equally I have to drive within the limits of safety. There's always an element of 'it's not my car'.
"It's just about progressing. The main focus is learning the tracks for the future hopefully. As long as everybody is in the right frame of mind, we'll gather the right data, and we're coming back with results, so we're definitely going forward."