Paul di Resta said he was like a child at Christmas when the covers came off his new Force India F1 car at Silverstone this morning - and revealed he is “more comfortable than ever” behind the wheel of his new racer.
The Scotsman was on hand to pull back the covers on the new VJM06 in front of the world’s media, before taking the car out for a brief maiden run at the team’s home track.
The car is visually very similar to last year’s, save the introduction of a “vanity” fairing to cover the stepped nose, which ran on most cars in 2012.
Speaking to the Chron at the launch, di Resta said the goal was improving on last year, when the team finished seventh in the constructors’ championship.
He said: “We have got to be hoping to raise our game, focusing on getting higher up the table. I think consistency over the whole year is the main thing.
“The team’s desire is to look at the whole picture, rather than getting one-off results.
“It is hard world and it’s ruthless at times, but at the same time it’s all about driving the cars and the individual feeling for me.
“I am very focused on the on-track performance. I enjoy doing it - it’s my sport, it’s my hobby, it’s my life. I am very passionate about my racing and I want to race to the top of my game.”
Di Resta was also full of praise for the team, whose Dadford Road base is just a few hundred yards from the Silverstone gates.
He said: “Every member of this team is a key factor in it. They have their qualities and that is why they are a part of this team.
“We are a small team that punches above our weight, and I think they work harder than some people in this area.
“The journey is still going on for Sahara Force India. They are a relatively young team with big ambitions ahead.”
The car will now be shipped to Jerez in Spain for the first pre-season test next week, something di Resta is relishing.
He said: “I’m very excited. Any time you see a new car it’s like Christmas - you are like a small boy again.
“The car is very sharp. I think the finer details are underneath. This car is an evolution of the car we had last year, not a revolution, because the rule changes are not allowing that.
“I am very comfortable in the car. I am more comfortable than I’ve ever been. That’s one job ticked, and hopefully we can do the rest when it starts running.” Di Resta’s team-mate has yet to be announced, with former Force India star Adrian Sutil and Ferrari development driver Jules Bianchi said to be leading the running.