FORCE INDIA are hoping to solve Paul Di Resta’s problems with the car and send him off into the winter break on a high.
Since a career-best fourth-place finish in Singapore in September, the Bathgate star has collected just two points from the last five races as he has been far from at home in his car.
In a bid to aid Di Resta, the Silverstone-based team even changed the chassis ahead of the grand prix in Abu Dhabi, resulting in a glimmer of improvement as he finished ninth.
In Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, a return to much stronger form appeared on the cards as Di Resta was running fifth early on, but after his pit stop Di Resta struggled with oversteer, and on cold tyres he spun at one point after coming under pressure from Williams duo Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado, forcing a second rubber change.
Di Resta, who now trails team-mate Nico Hulkenberg by seven points on the back of his bad run, can only hope for better going into the last race of the year in Sao Paulo on Sunday.
Deputy team principal Bob Fernley said: “We’ve just not got him comfortable, and he is not at one with the car.
“In Singapore he was absolutely magnificent, did a great, great job, and was totally at one with it, but since then we’ve not been able to deliver him a car in which he has been comfortable.
“Also we’ve had these different tracks – four in a row – with new surfaces, which does require a different type of car, and I’m not sure they have been perfect for Paul’s style of driving.
“Hopefully we can dial back the clock, set it to zero and start again in Brazil.
“We believe we can get him back on track because I would like him to finish on a high in Brazil. It would be good for his confidence.”
Di Resta is currently going through the same problems as encountered by McLaren’s Jenson Button earlier this year when he collected just seven points from six races to undermine his title hopes. Button was unable to get the Pirelli tyres and his car dialled in in harmony, wrecking a number of races.
On Di Resta, Fernley added: “It’s the relationship between the tyres and the circuit, especially the high abrasive circuits.
“All the work we have done, and where we have had success with Paul, has been on the normal abrasive circuits.
“Also, the set-up in the car doesn’t really suit Paul’s style of driving.
“We need to find a compromise somewhere that addresses what Paul needs, but gives us the performance as well.”