VALENCIA, Spain, June 22, 2012 (AFP) - Paul di Resta was not surprised by the pace of his Force India car despite being very competitive during Friday's practice sessions for Sunday's European Grand Prix.
The 26-year-old wound up sixth fastest, just 0.6 seconds slower than pace-setter Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, while his Force India team-mate German Nico Hulkenberg was second fastest, just over a tenth of a second slower than the defending champion.
The Scotsman insisted he was not surprised by the overall pace of his car and hopes to prove Friday's performance was not a one-off by staying competitive throughout the weekend.
"We are not doing anything different to a normal Friday, we are not running 10 kilos (of fuel)," said di Resta.
"Since we have hit the track we've been competitive and right near the top. Straight from the first run this morning to the last run we have been where we had to be, and probably could have been the quickest car at the beginning of the session and went straight out on the medium compound. Hopefully it carries on until tomorrow."
Di Resta said he was even more encouraged by the times he set becaue he was never able to complete a flying lap after being held up by other drivers.
He said: "I think you can see it has been a reasonable day. We are happy. We 'purpled' the middle sector on both laps, but on both laps I found myself coming across Jenson (Button) in the last sector and never improved in the last sector so if you put a couple of tenths on we look very competitive.
"Had we put it all together, it was looking fairly positive, but it could all change tomorrow. I think that given where we have been all day we should be pretty happy."
Hulkenberg said he was feeling confident after such a promising start to the weekend, but suggested that the brighter weather conditions predicted for the rest of the weekend would still have their part to play.
"It went very well and we were able to pack a lot of work into the afternoon," said the German.
"I feel quite comfortable with the car and we managed some good runs on both tyres compounds today. I think the key factor for the rest of the weekend will be managing the tyres if the temperatures increase as expected and making sure we can deliver the same level of performance."