Exclusive chat with Paul Di Resta in Korea

Force India driver Paul Di Resta gestures while speaking with pit crew members during the first practice session of the Formula One Korean Grand Prix in Yeongam today. Picture: AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGHPRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images
Force India driver Paul Di Resta gestures while speaking with pit crew members during the first practice session of the Formula One Korean Grand Prix in Yeongam today. Picture: AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGHPRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images
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Bathgate’s Paul di Resta is back in action this weekend in Korea, eager to achieve the point-scoring finish he was denied by the mystery crash in Singapore a fortnight ago.

Despite intense investigations, the Scot’s Sahara Force India team has been unable to identify what went wrong with his car, causing him to crash out just five laps from the end of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Di Resta has looked on course for a potential sixth-place finish and much-needed Constructors’ Championship points in the battle with McLaren.

But after spending a week at his Monaco base, concentrating on his fitness ahead of the final push towards the end of the season, the Scot couldn’t wait to get back into his race car.

“Singapore is still pretty fresh in my mind, and the disappointment’s still there,” explained Di Resta, who was 11th in both this morning’s practice sessions. “When you have a race like that you just want to get back in the car as soon as possible.

“Getting back home, pushing myself in the gym and out on the road on the bike, was the perfect way to clear my mind and prepare for the final push at the end of the season.

“October is the busiest month, with grands prix in Korea, Japan and then India, all in the space of four weekends. It was important to have some quality time at home before spending the next couple of months travelling.

“Yeongam is another technical lap with some distinctive sectors and different characteristics. There are some slower, more technical parts to the lap in the first sector, which should play to our strengths. The second and third sectors are high-speed and have a nice flow.

“Pirelli’s tyre choices are the same as in Singapore, so it will be interesting to see how they perform in Korea.

“We’ve always gone well on the supersofts, but struggled more on the medium compound, so hopefully we can switch it on this weekend.

“What is clear is that we have inherent pace in the car: we just need to keep delivering it and hope we can finally deliver the results we’re capable of.

“Everyone in the team is quietly confident we can repeat our pace from Singapore, and if we can call the right strategy, we should be able to score some crucial world championship points for the team.”

The race, though, as was the case in Singapore, is expected to be dominated by champion-elect Sebastian Vettel.

The Red Bull driver won at a canter last time out and even his rivals have admitted they expect the three-time world champion to dominate.

Asked whether Vettel’s superiority in Singapore was a one-off, former champion Lewis Hamilton admitted he didn’t think so.

“They have a lot more in the bag than we get to see, so he was just cruising,” he said.

“I think in the race, at the restart, everyone is pushing, so there is no reason why he shouldn’t pull away. He is on the power full throttle at least 20 metres before anyone else, which is a huge advantage.

“There is nothing you can really do, as you are always asking for more rear downforce.

“The last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was back in 2007 or 2008, when we had traction control.”

Vettel heads into Sunday’s race 60 points clear of the Ferrari of his nearest rival, double world champ Fernando Alonso and, with only five grands prix remaining after Korea, has his fourth title in the bag, barring unforeseen developments.