sport

Di Resta eyes strong start to 2013

Paul di Resta is eager to make an explosive start to the new Formula One season, despite insisting he has nothing to prove this year.

The 26-year-old Scot collected just two points from his closing six grands prix with Force India in 2012, and ignominiously crashed out in the dying moments of the final race in Brazil.

Understandably, it was not how Di Resta wanted to head into a lengthy break ahead of the new season in Australia on March 17.

Going into the final year of his contract with Force India, Di Resta knows he has to get off on the right foot.

"You have to finish the season at some point, and that was the way it was for me," said Di Resta.

"Ahead of the new season, I wouldn't now say I have to prove myself to anyone. People know what I can do, and when I can do it.

"But getting the results back are key, and equally starting the season out of the blocks, which is something I've not been able to experience because of the way the car has performed.

"So I've been working hard over the winter with the guys to get the best car possible, and I'm definitely confident we will be able to have a year like we did last year up until Singapore."

After a few weeks to rest and collect his thoughts, Di Resta admits he rediscovered his urge to get back in the car just after Christmas.

"It was obviously a difficult end to last season, nothing was going right," added Di Resta.

"So to go away and have some time off, to not think about things and accept the way it was, was ideal.

"I remember I was sitting watching the television and I saw something advertised with a car driving out of a garage in Jerez under sunny blue skies, and that was around December 29.

"I thought 'Wow! I really want to get back into this, get moving' and from there my focus changed, and just over a month after the crash in Brazil.

"Everybody is now focused on bigger things because at the end of the day we need to raise our game and regain the constructors' position we had two years ago."

Despite the biggest haul of points in the team's history last season, even in comparable terms before the points system changed, they slipped from sixth in the constructors' championship in 2011 to seventh.

There has been a strengthening of personnel behind the scenes, and at present Di Resta admits "the vibe is high" within the team.

He added: "Having been in the factory, done the seat fit, been in the wind tunnel - essentially it would have been nice to seen the car - but that is all coming together and I'm looking forward.

"The stability in the team is good, the resource and structure has not changed too much, but there are some new faces who have come in to bring some new departments up which has strengthened us.

"The design team has remained stable, which is a good thing because the car is essentially an evolution of the one we had last year.

"It's not a whole new rule change, a whole new philosophy, it's just about plugging away, and at the moment things are looking good.

"We just need to keep the pressure on and keep plugging away for Australia because we launched a superb car last year but fell away towards the end of the tests."