2013 has been a positive year for Paul Di Resta as he enters his third season for the Force India team.
A fourth place in Bahrain, consistent drives in Spain, Canada, China, Australia and finishing in the top 10 on seven occasions make the 27-year-old Scotsman one of the hottest drivers to watch out for in the Formula One race.
Not a bad start for someone who started in the test driver’s seat and then revved up to be the leading driver in the team.
The last race in Monza, Italy had to be one of Di Resta’s toughest weekends, when he crashed just seconds into the race. The same goes for teammate Adrian Sutil, who had to retire on the last lap due to brake issues.
“It has been one of those weekends to forget,” Di Resta told reporters after the race, “Now we need to look forward to Singapore and put this one behind us.”
The Force India driver is hoping to claim a first podium finish of his career in Singapore next weekend. He finished fourth last year behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, trailing the Spaniard by 4.2 seconds.
We caught up with him to get his thoughts on the coming race in Singapore, his 2013 season and his plans for the rest of the year.
So how has the 2013 season been for you? Have things gone as expected?
Very positive so far, but like anything in life, there's always room to improve. The start to the year was the best in the history of this team, and we’ve had some great moments, including the fourth place in Bahrain.
You have been with Sahara Force India for about three years now. How has the experience been?
It's been fantastic. It's a great team with a family atmosphere. People often say the team is punching above its weight, and when you think that we are battling McLaren in the championship, it's easy to see what they mean.
What is your most memorable race this year?
Definitely Bahrain. The fourth place was a massive result for the team.
How is it like racing with teammate Adrian Sutil?
He's a competitive driver and we get on well. We've known each other for a long time and been with this team together for a while, so there's certainly a healthy respect.
At 27, how would you describe yourself as a driver?
Focused, committed and determined.
What are your expectations for the Singapore race? You were in fourth place last year. A podium finish this year, perhaps?
We are going there hungry to come away with points for both cars. We've been strong there for the last couple of years, and a podium was close last year, so it would be nice to go one better this year.
What about your goals for the rest of the season?
The key is to stay focused and get as much as we can from the remaining races.
2013 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix | 20 to 22 September 2013 | Marina Bay Street Circuit | Tickets $48-$1,288 from www.singaporegp.sg