Force India team principal Vijay Mallya has praised lead driver Paul di Resta after a strong start to the 2013 campaign.
Di Resta finished in fourth place in Bahrain, equalling his best ever Formula 1 result.
“Overall the balance is extremely positive for Sahara Force India with our best ever start to a season,” said Mallya. “In terms of points scored we are nine points up compared to last year and we’ve been up at the sharp end fighting with the big teams.”
“The performances of Paul Di Resta confirm just how much he has matured as a driver. He’s delivering consistently every week and we are reaping the rewards of all his hard work. He suffered a difficult end to the 2012 season, but he’s shown great mental strength and determination to regroup over the winter and recapture his best form. He’s pushing the team on and demanding the best from everyone, which is what we need.
Mallya also reckons Adrian Sutil has been impressive on his return to the sport.
“Sutil has also shown his speed so far but the luck has not gone his way. The last two races have been very frustrating because he’s been the victim of other drivers’ mistakes. Without these incidents he would surely have scored well in both China and Bahrain. His race pace in Bahrain was remarkable because he was one of the fastest cars on track.”
Di Resta believes the competitive nature of the car in China and Bahrain gives the team a reason to be optimistic.
“The car is performing well, especially in the heat, and we were also strong in the cooler conditions of China – so that’s a good sign. The key is making sure you find the right operating window whatever the conditions because that’s what makes the difference.”