Di Resta looks to build on confidence

Paul di Resta hopes Force India can translate the confidence gained by his career-best fourth place in Singapore into another strong showing at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Motorsport News: Paul Di Resta

The 26-year-old Scot, linked with moves to Mercedes and McLaren prior to the confirmation of deals for Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez last week, has threatened to pull off a big result at several races this year, but was finally able to deliver in Singapore.

The former DTM and Formula 3 Euroseries champion qualified an excellent sixth and improved to a top-four finish come race day, pushing the Ferrari of championship leader Fernando Alonso all the way for the final place on the podium.

Suzuka has not been the kindest of tracks for Force India, with a best finish of 11th from eight starts, but Di Resta believes the team took a major step forward in their understanding of the package they have.

"When we qualified sixth we knew it was going to be tough to even maintain that in the race, but things worked out very well and I was able to challenge Fernando for a podium in the final stint in Singapore," he said.

"I think we learned a lot in Singapore about how to get the most from the car, and the aim now is to try and repeat the form we showed towards the end of the race. If we can do that, the momentum will carry on."

The result in Singapore has raised hopes the team can pip Sauber to sixth place in the constructors' championship, and team boss Vijay Mallya knows a repeat of the recent pace the team have shown could make overhauling the current 26-point deficit a real possibility.

"I still remember the situation in 2010 when Williams pipped us by one point at the last race, so I guess it's not over until it's over," he said.

"I'm still hoping that we can do it and one strong podium finish could help to wipe out Sauber's advantage. It all depends how strong our rivals are in the final six races, but we certainly have some momentum.

"Historically Suzuka has never been our best track, but hopefully this time the team has something up its sleeve.

"I think we have been pretty consistent on most tracks this season so we are quietly confident that we can perform well this weekend.

"I certainly hope we can pull some rabbits out of the hat in Japan and Korea and come away with some more points."

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