Paul di Resta eyes top ten finish in Delhi

Published: Oct 26, 2011, 08:33 IST | Ashwin Ferro & Vivek Ajinkya |

Sahara Force India's Paul di Resta keen to add joy to Indian F1 fans' home GP experience with 'special result'

Sahara Force India's Paul di Resta keen to add joy to Indian F1 fans' home GP experience with 'special result'

Paul di Resta has been promising for Sahara Force India in his debut season and the Brit is fired up to make the Indian Grand Prix memorable for home fans by coming up with a 'special result' at the Buddh International Circuit this weekend. The 25-year-old touches a wide range of subjects from cricket to IndyCar tragedy. Excerpts from the interview...

Fired up: Sahara Force India driver Paul Di Resta. Pic/Getty Images

How has the experience been in your debut season for Sahara Force India?
My first year in Formula One has been very positive. And the way that we have developed the car has been satisfying -- which has helped us get some strong results in the second half of the season. We are sixth in the championship -- the highest this team has ever been, and we are fighting hard to stay there.

Sahara Force India drivers Adrian Sutil (left) and Paul Di Resta during
a promotional event yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK

You started off on a great note with points at the Australian GP. Were you expecting success that early?
I think scoring points in my first race was a big highlight of the year. Your first race is always something you remember anyway. We didn't have the easiest winter developing the car so it felt good to start the year in reasonable shape.

What are your expectations from the Indian GP?

The Indian GP is a massive weekend for us. It's a new culture and adventure for F1 and I'm sure we will get a warm welcome from the fans. It's a home race for the team and we would love to come away with a special result. We are aiming to qualify in the Top 10 and are racing for points. We will give it a good shot.

The world of motorsport has been stunned in the last two weeks following the deaths of IndyCar ace Dan Wheldon and MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli. Will there be a risk at the Indian GP, considering the circuit and climatic conditions will be new for the drivers?
There's always a risk of accidents, not only on a new track. But the good thing about F1 is that the safety standards are enhanced each year.

Your cousin Dario Franchitti narrowly avoided the IndyCar race carnage. How is he dealing with the death of Dan?
He's doing OK. It's a bit of a shock. I'm sure he'll come out of it. Dan (Wheldon) was a born racer and he died a happy man. It's an unfortunate thing for his family.

Do you have any interest in cricket considering Vijay Mallya and Subroto Roy own IPL teams?
I'm learning more and more about cricket. It's so popular in India and it was amazing to see the enthusiasm people have for it. I saw that when I visited India at the start of the year. I'm not sure if F1 could ever compete with cricket in terms of popularity, but hopefully we can be a strong second!

What do you know about Diwali? Will you be celebrating?
It's special that this event is happening now. As you can see everybody is getting prepared out on the streets with flowers and presents. We've a day off and I'll have a look at the celebrations as a genuine tourist.

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