Di Resta ready for Monacoposted in F121 | 05 | 2013

    SCOT PAUL DI RESTA will climb straight out of his own bed and take to the tight streets of Monaco on Thursday hoping his strong start to the Formula One season isn't about to be scuppered by Pirelli.

    After washing the breakfast dishes in the apartment he shares with his girlfriend, Laura, and ironing his own team shirt, the 27-year-old from Bathgate will head down to the paddock which wraps itself round the glittering harbour packed with multi-million pound yachts.

    But the Scot, whose compact flat has been raided by family and friends this week, all eager to see Di Resta in action, heads into the traditional Thursday practice, ahead of the weekend action, acknowledging all his good work so far this year could be undone by Pirelli.

    The Italian tyre giant, the sole supplier of tyres to F1, has pledged to make changes to its compounds after fierce criticism from Red Bull and Mercedes after each were forced to make four stops last time out in Spain.

    But Di Resta, narrowly denied a podium in Bahrain, is uncomfortable that all the hard work he and his Sahara Force India team put in over the winter break, to ensure they got the best out of the 2013 tyres, could potentially count for nothing.

    "Our winter programme was all about making sure we could deliver what we could with the tyres that were provided for the season," he said today.

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    "It's confirmation of how methodical we were that we've achieved the results we have so far this season.

    "I'm a bit reserved about why they need to change the compounds of the tyres mid-season, especially when we've had some good races.

    "I'd definitely be more than happy to stay with the compounds the way they are. We sacrificed new parts to help the development of the car because the tyre programme was so important.

    "Is it fair that people, my engineers and designers, have worked so hard through the close-season and the opening five races only to have their work wiped out, and then have to start learning about a whole set of new compounds and challenges? I don't think so.

    "Maybe the transition won't be as big as we think, and fear. This year it was a construction change and a compound change, so what they have planned for Canada, I don't know.

    "I do know teams like Ferrari and Lotus will easily be siding with us, because they've had a good campaign so far. We've all worked hard to get it to work."

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    Pirelli has pledged to change the tyre compounds in time for Montreal, a fortnight after Monaco. But the tyre supplier is trying to play down suggestions the changes will be radical.

    "We are doing everything we can to minimise what will be different," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, said.

    Di Resta, though, is eager to impress in F1's Blue Riband race, the Monaco Grand Prix, and isn't ruling out scoring the first F1 podium of his career.

    And despite living in the tiny principality, the enormity of the the race isn't lost on the TW Steel-backed Scot.

    "Living in Monaco is fantastic, and it's definitely great to be able to sleep in my own bed and just dawdle down to the pits in the morning," he continued.

    "I've got a load of family and friends staying here over the week, and to be honest it's nice to get away from doing the dishes and helping make the tea.

    "But it's great to be able to catch up with them and have a good laugh: it definitely helps relax me in what is always one of the most intense grand prix weeks of the year.

    "Having seen all the infrastructure built and put in place again around the circuit, it blows you away every time you see it," he admitted. "It's immense."

    And the Scot acknowledges his build-up is focused solely on qualifying.

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    "It's all about getting everything right for the qualifying lap on Saturday afternoon," he explained. "It's all about building your confidence over the Thursday and Saturday morning in practice to make sure you can deliver in qualifying.

    "You need to be able to get as close to the walls as you can, using as much of the road as you can.

    "And when you get the free track space, maximise it, because for the bulk of the time the circuit is dominated by traffic."

    And Di Resta, seventh in the world championship with 26 points, isn't ruling out sneaking his first F1 career podium at his 'home' grand prix.

    "Traditionally we always run well on street-type circuits, like Singapore and Valencia," he continued, "so if we get qualifying right on Saturday, and perhaps a little bit of luck on Sunday, who knows.

    "A podium in Monaco? It's definitely within our reach, and I can't think of a more dramatic place to get it."

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    Jim McGill


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