F1: Paul Di Resta intrigued by inevitable focus on 2014 season
Cars will change radically next year
Thursday 21 March 2013
Paul Di Resta is expecting Formula One to become “quite fruity” later this year as the teams start to balance their programmes between this season and 2014.
The current campaign represents the end of an era for F1 as the 2.4-litre V8 engines bow out after nine seasons, with 1.6-litre V6 turbo powerplants to be introduced next year.
One of the key elements to this season is the point when a team opts to end development of the current car and ploughs their resources and time into next year's model.
For a team like Force India, which it is fair to say is not a title contender but is still fighting for points and their place in the championship, that transition is crucial.
And Di Resta feels the battle for position in the constructors' standings will be an interesting one.
"You are already seeing bits (for next year's car) coming through, ideas and where the cars are going," said Di Resta.
"Of course, as a smaller team you are going to be compromised with less resources.
"It remains to be seen how we balance pumping stuff into next year's car and working on this year's programme.
"But then for a team like us there is no pressure on coming out on top next year compared to the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.
"What is important is you need to have a good rate of development until June or July, and then you will see people switch off.
"It becomes a question of how much you focus on a car that will be out of date by the middle of November.
"My aim would be to develop from now until June as much as you can before it stabilises quite a lot. It will be an interesting part of Formula One."
Di Resta feels over the second half of the year there will be little change in results, which is why if a team like Force India can keep pushing into the summer, it could pay dividends.
"What you will see from mid-season is where people finish continuing to do so until the end of the season," added Di Resta.
"I don't see how you are going to make a rapid improvement in aero because the teams developing the new car will be working on that.
"Obviously you will be pushing them as much as you can to try and keep bringing ideas because that's what makes results.
"So for me the last 10 races are key because where you finish in the championship relates to your budget for next year as well.
"Importantly, you have to make sure the last update you bring is something quite fruity and has potential for you to work away with and to gain time in using it on track."
For Force India, after their best opening race of a season as Adrian Sutil and Di Resta finished seventh and eighth in Australia on Sunday to collect 10 points, there can be no let up in momentum.
Ahead of Sunday's second round in Malaysia, Di Resta said: "It's the best start we've had.
"Ten points is a lot when you consider we scored 100 points after 20 grands prix last year, so we are already a tenth of the way there to doing that after one grand prix.
"But it now has to count for something. It needs to stay where it is, or improve because people will react.
"You cannot underestimate anybody, not least when you're racing the likes of McLaren and Sauber who are teams with power behind them and they can put pressure on you."
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