Di Resta believes team can claim race place on F1 podium

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Paul DI RESTA believes he’ll head into his second season racing in Formula One faster, stronger and even more determined to deliver results.

And the 25-year-old from Bathgate isn’t ruling out the possibility of a podium finish this season with Sahara Force India. “Why not? Anything’s possible,” he said today. “I finished sixth in Singapore last year, was pushing for fourth in Canada, and looking at a top-five finish at Silverstone.

“Everyone knows the Red Bulls, McLarens, Ferraris and Mercedes are faster than us. For us to finish on the podium would need quite a few stars to fall perfectly in line.

“The one thing I can guarantee is we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure if the opportunity arises to push for a podium finish, I’ll be there to take advantage.”

Di Resta impressed the field with his mature and accomplished performances last year, and bagged a string of top-ten finishes on his way to gathering 27 world championship points.

And the Scot, who helped his team finish sixth in the constructors’ championship is confident they can challenge Renault for fifth this season.

“We established a huge amount of momentum in the second half of 2011, and everyone in the team is determined to maintain that into this season,” Di Resta, who this year will be joined by 24-year-old German, Nico Hulkenberg, continued.

“With Nico, we have one of the youngest and most aggressive driving partnerships on the grid and that, in conjunction with the new car for 2012, indicates we’re going to be very competitive.

“We only missed out on fifth place in the championship by four points last year. We’re determined to make sure that’s where we finish this year.”