Di Resta knows the pressure is on at Force India

Ahead of his third season in Formula One, Paul Di Resta is fitter and more content than he has ever been in his life.

Paul di Resta of Great Britain and Force India

In theory, such wellbeing and happiness should in turn lead to the 26-year-old Scot delivering his finest campaign on track.

And he will need to, because Di Resta is happy to concede there is a certain amount of pressure on his shoulders this year

Not least because of the way he ended last season, claiming just two points from his final six races, and more pertinently, crashing out in the final grand prix in Brazil three laps from home.

Just two months earlier, Di Resta had conjured his finest result in F1 when he finished a superb fourth under Singapore's spotlights.

Following that race Di Resta was a comfortable 13 points ahead of then Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, but come the denouement in Brazil, he concluded the season 17 points adrift of the German.

For whatever reason, Di Resta simply could not get the car and the tyres working to his liking over the home stretch - there was even a change of chassis prior to the race in Abu Dhabi in an effort to resolve his issues.

It resulted in a sad end to what was for the most part a promising season in which he was linked with moves to a bigger team, notably McLaren and Ferrari.


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Part of Di Resta's problem was that despite new management, linking up with Jenson Button's long-time ally in Richard Goddard before the British Grand Prix, he had another year remaining on his contract at Force India.

It means the additional pressure this season sees Di Resta fighting for his future in F1, and either a new deal with the Silverstone-based marque, or moving on to pastures new.

"For whatever reason nothing went the right way at the end of last season," Di Resta told Press Association Sport.

"Essentially you always remember the end of a year more than the beginning, and with my crash as well.

"There were some good drives, some good pace, but it just never worked out.

"I've been through times like that where you just need to dig deep, and eventually you get out of it. Hopefully this year will be the year.

"Of course, there is pressure on me this year. It's my third year in Formula One, but as always, nobody puts pressure on me to do well like I do on myself."

It is why, following some down-time over December, through Christmas and the New Year, Di Resta has since engaged in a punishing fitness regime under the watchful eye of trainer Gerry Convy to ensure there can be no excuses when it comes to physical and mental strength.

That may have led to Di Resta being left in Button's cycle tracks on occasion as they pedal up, down and around the hills that surround their homes in Monaco, but he knows he will reap the rewards.

"I'm getting there. It's nice we can go out and train together," said Di Resta.

"We'll still have that competitiveness at the track, but it's good we have developed a friendship where we can go out and knock ideas off, and even talk about our personal lives.

"I'm sure at the track we'll probably train together a little this year, and he is very fit.

"He obviously has this desire to do triathlons, whereas I can't run. I can't really take it.

"I do different things. I mix it up - swimming, rowing, cycling, weights - because you can get very bored and get out of the zone.

"I'm now seeing the difference. In January I trained on 27 of the 31 days. I have definitely lifted it another level, which is good."

That friendship with Button, and other drivers and sports stars who have made their home on the French Riviera, as well as his settled relationship with long-term girlfriend Laura Jordan, means that off the track he could not be happier.

"Monaco is my home, and essentially I've made a lot of good friends down there, with Jenson part of a group in which we all get on well," assessed Di Resta.

"It's rare we are all there together for a day because essentially somebody will be doing something different with their programme, their life, or whatever it is.

"But we're all at the same point in life, and equally our other halves all get on, which makes life that much easier.

"They've become your family, your day-to-day people you socialise with."

Which leads to the suggestion Di Resta is in the best shape he has ever been - physically, mentally, socially, personally.

"By a long margin. I'm very comfortable," said Di Resta.

"Richard is doing a good job, I'm working away with Gerry, and I'm part of a team again in which we all know how we work, what the goals are ahead, and we all know what is expected of us.

"Now it's about achieving that, about what we put in in trying to achieve it, which we will hopefully do towards the end of the year."



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