Quick Chat: Paul Di Resta
Budapest was a magnificent weekend for you. It must have come as a great relief…
Paul Di Resta: The relief was indeed great, and the victory came at a crucial time in the season. Towards the midway point of the campaign, the main title contenders begin to emerge. After this weekend, I’ve edged a bit closer to them. It’s good to carry through some momentum for the Norisring at this critical stage. I’m hoping to put in another strong showing there. It’s not yet clear whether one of the potential title contenders in the shape of Mattias Ekström will be missing. Personally, I would never skip a race. If you sign up for a racing series, you should also compete on all of the race weekends. I think, though, that he will be driving at the Norisring. My gut feeling tells me that Audi currently have no clear title challenger. But in any case, that doesn’t affect me. We intend to beat them one way or another in a fair fight.
Are you surprised that, after six races, there are so many drivers so close to each other at the top of the championship?
Paul Di Resta: Yes, it's very tight. But that’s exactly what we wanted. The new tyre regulations are playing a key role here. You can adopt completely different strategies, and your grid position is not necessarily going to be the same as your race result. If you take an aggressive approach, it sometimes pays off – just like in Budapest on Saturday. Or also at the Lausitzring, when some Audi drivers pitted on the first lap. The drivers and teams are making bold decisions, but the most important thing is to come away with as many points as you can if you have a strong package. After a difficult weekend at the Lausitzring, it was important for me to strike back in Budapest. Especially considering that I missed out on a podium in the second race at Hockenheim through bad luck. This time, though, luck was on my side. That’s how it is in motor racing. People don’t remember how your season started, but only how it ended.
When do you think we will see which drivers are in line for the championship this year? Might it be as late as the grand finale to the season at Hockenheim?
Paul Di Resta: The way things are going at the moment, I would say that there will still be a number of drivers in with a chance of the title when we get to Hockenheim. The critical point in the championship for me is the penultimate race weekend at Spielberg – you never know what is going to happen on that track. I’m looking forward to the title fight. As a driver, you revel in such challenges. Ideally, of course, you'd like to leave the rest of the field standing. But I remember that, in my championship-winning season of 2010, I didn’t get off to the best of starts. On the other hand, though, the end of the season was all the more impressive. We know that we have a strong car, but there are still a lot of things we have to learn about it.