F1: Di Resta tested and ready to challenge in Barcelona

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Bathgate’s Paul di Resta starts this season’s European run of grands prix in Barcelona this weekend. And the 26-year-old Scot heads into the Spanish Grand Prix boosted not only by his sixth-place in Bahrain, but also a busy testing session with his Sahara Force India VJM05 at Mugello in Italy.

“After a couple of technical hiccups, the test at Mugello ended up being very productive for the team,” Di Resta said yesterday. “On the final day I completed 34 laps – that’s 178kms – and we collected a lot of aero data.

“That information is likely to be important for Barcelona, where we know it’s still going to be difficult to get a true read on the relative competitiveness of all the teams.

“There’s no denying, though, that I head to Spain boosted by the sixth place I got in Bahrain, where we got our strategy pretty well perfect over the race weekend. Everybody in the team stepped up and helped deliver the performance.

“Our strategy was a bold one, but it was definitely the right one and allowed me to match the best F1 finish of my career, equalling the sixth I achieved in Singapore last year.”

And after the run of four long haul fly-away races, Di Resta is glad to be back for the European leg of the season.

“Now, though, we head to Barcelona, and, after all the long flights, it’s great because I can simply drive to the circuit from the flat in Monaco,” Di Resta continued.

“Of course Barcelona’s a great city, but it’s also the track I probably know better than any other on the F1 calendar.

“We did two tests there in the winter and I had four days in the car, so I already feel quite well prepared, but it’s the same for everyone. What do I expect this weekend? Well it’s definitely going to be very tight again, especially in the midfield.

“With the evaluation of some of our car developments we did at Mugello, we know we’re moving solidly in the right direction. We’ve done the basics, but we also know there’s still plenty of work to do in free practice to get on top of the car. We’re in for another tough weekend, but you wouldn’t expect anything else in Formula 1.”

Sebastian Vettel leads the title race by just four points from Lewis Hamilton.