Di Resta fifth-fastestposted in F103 | 03 | 2012
BATHGATE'S PAUL DI RESTA heads to the opening Formula One grand prix in a fortnight full of confidence after the final pre-season test at Barcelona (see more photos of Paul in action in Barcelona today).
The 25-year-old Scot finished his final session at the Circuit de Catalunya fifth-fastest in his Mercedes-powered Sahara Force India car.
"This has been another very productive and rewarding test," Di Resta, who set a fastest time of 1min 22.446secs on the 2.9-mile Spanish circuit, said today.
"We worked through a number of aero and tyre programmes in the dry in the morning, but frustratingly we got a lot of rain — and some hail — in the afternoon.
"To be honest, that didn't really hamper us too much, because it let us see how the car handled in the damp.
Solid day's testing at Barcelona for Paul di Resta
"I hand the car over to my team-mate Nico Hulkenberg for the final day tomorrow, but we're certainly looking in good shape for the opening race in Australia in two weeks."
Di Resta, who completed a 108 laps during his intense day behind the wheel, finished just 0.352secs behind the Sauber of Sergio Perez, who topped the timesheets.
The Mexican pipped the McLaren of former world champ Jenson Button by just 0.009s.
Di Resta meanwhile, who was also just 0.033s behind the Ferrari of Felipe Massa in fourth, finished the day ahead of the Red Bull of Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes. The pair finished eighth and ninth respectively
"Of course, we won't get a true representation of exactly how fast we are compered to the other guys until qualifying in Melbourne," Di Resta, the Whyte & Mackay global ambassador, continued.
"But certainly, from what we've seen during testing, we're going to be in there mixing it right behind the top four teams."
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