Di Resta targets perfect weekend in Germany to return to the points
|By Edd Straw||Thursday, July 21st 2011, 13:54 GMT|
Paul di Resta has set himself and Force India a clear target of producing a perfect weekend as he bids to end a run of seven races without a point.
The Scot has impressed the paddock this season and has been linked to a move to a top team for next year.
But despite his strong qualifying record, beating more experience team-mate Adrian Sutil seven times in nine attempts, and some very strong race drives, a combination of bad luck and errors has prevented him finishing in the top 10 since the Malaysian Grand Prix in April.
The reigning DTM champion is confident that the improving Force India VJM04 is capable of taking more points, but that it depends on trouble-free running.
"We are a midfield team and things need to run exceptionally well because you need to get that break to get into the points," said di Resta when asked by AUTOSPORT whether he is frustrated at recent results.
"For whatever reason, it has not really panned out but in terms of performance, but we can certainly be relatively happy.
"It all needs to work out perfectly for it to happen for us, whereas some of the bigger teams can make a mistake and their performance gets them out of trouble. In the midfield, you need to be spot on.
"The good thing is that that speed has improved and our qualifying performance has been there. If we could just get a weekend where we run relatively normally, then we can pick up points."
Di Resta was in contention for points at Silverstone after qualifying a career-best sixth, but lost close to half-a-minute in the pits when the team asked him to abort his pitstop to allow Adrian Sutil to stop after suffering a puncture when the Scot was already in the pit entry.
At Valencia, his weekend was effectively ruined by reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg's crash during Friday morning practice, while in Canada he suffered damage and was then hit with a penalty after contact with Nick Heidfeld while attempting to take fourth place off the Renault driver.
Di Resta has admitted to making some mistakes, and is determined to replicate the early-season trouble-free runs that netted him 10th place finishes in Australia and Malaysia after being so close to more points in recent races.
"You always want to score points, but I know that it has been close," he said. "It has been out of my hands sometimes, but at the same time I've made some mistakes. The performance hasn't been good enough.
"We had the confusion at Silverstone, which was a big opportunity. But that's racing. I can't say where we would have ended up, but all I can say is that on lap 24 we were looking quite rosy."
Team principal Vijay Mallya has also called on the team to avoid mistakes if it is to live up to the potential that it has shown.