Tag Archives: Paul DiResta

Formula One

FORCE INDIA F1 2012 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX PREVIEW

Dr Mallya looks back on the European season and sets his sights on a strong showing in Singapore.

Eighth place brought some useful points in Italy, but is it really a case of ‘what might have been’?
If Paul had started where he should have started I’m sure he would have finished higher up the order. It was very unfortunate what happened to Nico during qualifying, where he couldn’t set a time. Given the pace of the cars I would have expected him to qualify somewhere close to Paul, so we could potentially have had both well inside the top ten. It was not to be.

Nevertheless a solid drive by Paul into eighth?
Given the fact that we were on a one-stop, we had to also keep in mind that the tyres needed to be conserved. Eighth was a result, but with a better starting position we could have come away with more.

After Spa, Sauber looked within reach, but they scored well in Italy. How do you view the situation?
There have been various moments where they’ve drawn away and we seemingly can’t catch them, but all it takes is a podium finish that brings in a lot of points, and if we get a couple of them, we could still chase them down.

On the other hand you have increased the advantage over Williams, albeit by only three points.
Two years ago Williams got us by one point in Brazil, so every point does matter!

How do you view the rest of the season?
As I’ve said before, we haven’t had our fair share of luck yet this season. Take the case of Spa – it was probably as close as we’ve had to a podium finish, but once again, it was not to be. But I’m an optimist and I don’t give up! It’s tough, Williams are strong, Sauber are strong. And look at what’s happening with Lotus. A lot of teams that were regarded as midfield teams last year are now pushing the big boys pretty hard.

Are you looking forward to Singapore?
In Singapore the atmosphere is brilliant. It’s a night race, of course, and more significantly for me there are a lot of people of Indian origin in Singapore, so they relate a lot to Sahara Force India, which is always nice. When I was living there, Singapore was very different to what it is now. It’s a lot more exciting, there are a lot more things to do, and it’s a lot more tourist friendly. Singapore should be a strong race for us because the track has always suited our car. 

Nico on Singapore

Nico Hulkenberg talks about the most demanding race of the year.

Nico, tell us about racing at night in Singapore and the challenges it presents…

I took part in the 2010 race and thought it was a mega experience. The whole atmosphere in the paddock and working at night is fun because it makes a nice change. We stay on European time so the body keeps its rhythm, although it does feel strange to be going to bed when the sun is rising.

What about the track itself?

It’s a very long lap with some tricky bumps and kerbs, and you need to get close to the walls if you want to be quick. So getting the perfect lap is not easy. It’s anti-clockwise, too, although it’s not as demanding on the neck as somewhere like Interlagos because most of the corners are low to medium speed.

What about the physical challenge generally?

For me Singapore is the toughest race of the year – physically and mentally. I think it’s because there are 23 corners on the track and it’s one of the longest races of the year – always close to the two hour limit. So you certainly feel it after the race because of the high temperatures and humidity.

Paul on Singapore

Paul Di Resta explains his preparation for night racing in Singapore.

What are your expectations for Singapore this year?

I had a good race there last year and we’ve seen already that the car has been strong on street circuits this year. So I’m hoping that we will go well there, optimise the set-up and pick up some good points. I think it’s a track everybody enjoys and it’s an interesting race because of the unusual schedule.

Does it still feel different to be racing under artificial lights?

They do such a good job that you don’t really notice. It’s almost better than if you are driving during the day with cloud cover. It’s just something you get used to really quickly. The other thing is you arrive there and stay on European time, and the night becomes your day so you don’t really suffer with jet lag.

Is it easy to stay on European time?

It’s not something I find difficult. The important thing is making sure you choose the right flight to arrive in Singapore at the right time of day. You also have to make sure the hotel staff don’t tap on your door in the morning at 9am because you need to be sleeping for another five hours! I always go to bed at 6am and wake up at 2pm, that’s my routine.

Motorsports Mondial

Photo: Forceindiaf1

Driver comments from Friday practice in Melbourne

Paul Di Resta: “Difficult to say too much about the first or second session because the conditions were so inconsistent with the rain showers. Even so, we made the best of it and focussed on assessing the aero package we have here and managed to learn a few things. We also made some set-up changes between the two sessions and the car felt better in the evening, so that was positive. The difficult thing is that we didn’t really get an impression of where everybody is in terms of performance, so there are still lots of unknowns going into tomorrow.”                      

Nico Hulkenberg: “Both FP1 and FP2 had mixed conditions, especially FP2 with the heavy rain, which arrived just before the start of the session. But we made the best of it and I ran on the full wets, the intermediates and the soft tyres when the track had dried out. It’s difficult to read much from the times because not everyone ran the soft tyres and there were lots of different fuel loads, but the main thing for me is that I have a good feeling with the car already.”

Kimi: “We didn’t really learn much from today due to the weather, but it’s the same for everyone. We tried a different steering rack in the first session. It would have been fine to run, but we knew that the base system would be better. The setup we have now is working well, it may take a while before we get it perfect but we’ll make the best of it. Hopefully the weather will be better tomorrow and we’ll be happier after qualifying. I didn’t push too hard today; if it’s dry tomorrow we’ll have a better idea of what we need to do.”

Romain Grosjean: “We waited to be able to go out on slick tyres, as we expect it to be dry for the rest of the weekend; there’s no point taking any unnecessary risks. The E20 feels very good and I’m happy with the balance of the car. I’ve been learning the track this afternoon and I’ve been focusing on improving my lap times as the day went on. We had to be patient, but we managed to get some decent laps in at the end and these were valuable. It’s a fantastic track and the changing scenery as you drive through the park is incredible. I feel comfortable and confident in the car and am really looking forward to qualifying.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “Today we ran with a new car in mixed conditions, so tomorrow will be like starting all over again because it looks like conditions will be dry. With few laps and a new car, we were unable to assess the balance of the car. But it was important to do some mileage and we completed 19 laps which isn’t too bad, but we still have a long way to go. As for the new car, these problems are common, they tend to happen in preseason testing and this is our testing”.

Pedro de la Rosa: “We managed to complete our installation lap in order to check the systems, but afterwards we detected a problem with the hydraulic system which forced us to stop. This is all part of the learning process, we’ve arrived here with a new car and just to have been able to get out for the second session was a feat, but we would have liked to have done more and learnt more. The last parts of the car arrived late and thanks to the brutal effort put in by the whole team, we were at least able to complete the installation lap and, thanks to this, we know where the problem is for tomorrow and can fix it. We start tomorrow with one problem less, and will surely run into another one, but that is part of the learning process. We knew that this Grand Prix would be difficult so we need to be patient”.

Pastor Maldonado: We completed the majority of our programme and did a longer run this afternoon. The car is performing well and we’re going in the right direction, but tomorrow we will see when we finally get into qualifying. 

Bruno Senna: The conditions today cut our running a little, but it was the same for everybody. This afternoon we completed some simulations to gain a greater understanding of what the car is doing and we are still learning. In terms of pace, we will see what we can achieve tomorrow afternoon.

Heikki Kovalainen: “The car felt good from the first proper run this morning and we found that the baseline we had set over the winter carried over exactly as we had planned into today’s practice sessions. It’s a shame that the conditions today meant that we couldn’t test the tyres more, but that’s the same for everyone, so the main thing was that we had a good balance all day, and kept improving the setup in both sessions. It’s also good to see that the new spec front wing that we ran both this morning and this afternoon is giving more grip overall, so that’s another positive step forward and puts us in good shape for tomorrow.”

Vitaly Petrov: “That was a reasonable day for me. The weather meant we weren’t able to try too much with the setups and we had a small problem this morning that cut short the final run, but one of the main things for me today is that I feel very comfortable with the team. We’re quickly building up a good relationship between me and the engineers and the mechanics, so as that keeps growing we’ll be able to get more out of the car and keep finding the pace that we know this car has.”