Di Resta ready to goposted in F131 | 01 | 2011

    BATHGATE'S PAUL di Resta gets his new Formula One season underway tomorrow when he takes part in the opening test in Valencia. The 24-year-old is scheduled to drive his Force India racer at the Spanish circuit tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday.

    "It's going to be good to get back to concentrating fully on driving again," Di Resta, who will be joined by team-mate Adrian Sutil and test driver Nico Hulkenberg at the three-day test, said today.

    "With all the arrangements for the official announcement of the Force India driving seat in Glasgow last week, then flying to Stuttgart for the 125th anniversary of the first Mercedes-Benz car at the weekend, it's certainly been busy. So it's going to be good to get back into the office."

    But while some of the teams — including Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes, Team Lotus and Sauber — will debut their 2011 racers over the next three days, Di Resta must wait until next week to get his hands on his all-new car.

    "We're not unveiling the VJM04, the 2011 Force India car, until next week's test in Jerez, so we're running a modified 2010 VJM03 this week," Di Resta continued.

    "Our main priority will be working with new tyre supplier, Pirelli, to get a good baseline set-up and understand how the new rubber works with the car.

    "I took part in the first official Pirelli tyre test at the end of last season in Abu Dhabi, and we established a reasonable early picture of the tyres. It's going to be interesting to see what developments there have been with the tyres.

    "But the three days this week will give me and my engineers a very good reference point from which we can further develop the new car next week in Jerez."

    And Di Resta admits he's looking forward to getting his hands on his own F1 racer, unlike last season when he had to hand the car back to either Sutil or Italian Tonio Liuzzi, the man he replaced at Force India.

    "While I was totally involved with the team and engineers last year, and supplied a comprehensive amount of feedback from the test sessions I took part in, at the end of the day I had to hand the car back; essentially I had only borrowed it for the session," the Scot explained.

    "This year it's my race car. That means we'll be working together at every session, not just this week and next week, but right through the Formula One season, to fine tune the car to the finest, finest degree to ensure we get the maximum speed, handling and performance out of it. And I can't wait to get started."

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    Jim McGill

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