Paul di Resta has vowed to dig deep and save not just his season, but potentially his Formula One career.
After almost three years in the sport, Di Resta hit a nadir on Sunday in South Korea when he retired for the fourth successive race to leave him without a point from his last six.
At a time when Force India are reviewing their driver line-up for next season, Di Resta could not have picked a worse time to suddenly run into a patch of wretched form.
The mid-season switch of tyres by Pirelli has not helped the cause of either Di Resta or Force India as the 26-year-old Scot had picked up points in seven of the first eight races.
But then Di Resta has not helped himself either in the last two races in which he crashed out in Singapore when a strong points finish was on the cards, and again in South Korea.
Asked whether he was growing anxious about next season, Di Resta said: “At the end of the day I can deliver when I’m given the tools to deliver.
“At the same time, with what has happened over the past few races, where I am at right now is not a great place to be. I did have a tremendous run of points before that, but when times are hard, they are hard I suppose.
“At the moment Adrian [team-mate Sutil] and I are being caught out trying to keep up with groups of cars in front, and unfortunately it is proving costly. All I can do is regroup and head to Suzuka [Japanese Grand Prix] this weekend and do what I can, do it for the team.
“I, more than anybody, want to get back on track with the team because they deserve it, so now it’s now about digging deep.” Di Resta, however, is also calling on all within Force India to help him through his slump, believing he cannot do it alone.
“When I reflect, Singapore was obviously a disappointing way to end, but with five laps to go I believe my effort was more than anybody had put into that race,” he said.
“I know I can deliver. That’s not a question. I just need a bit of support from the team to understand how difficult this car is at the moment to get us out of it. They need to work with you to help you do that, and I’ve 100 per cent belief everybody is trying their hardest. More than anybody I’ll put the effort in and I won’t be down about it because I know how this game works. Things can quickly turn.”
Meanwhile, Christian Horner has revealed the entire Red Bull team are standing by to be blown away by Sebastian Vettel’s latest world title triumph.
With a 77-point cushion over his nearest rival in Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Vettel could make it four in a row at Suzuka. Should Vettel achieve the feat, either in Japan or the double header in India and Abu Dhabi that follows, the 26-year-old will become the youngest four-time winner in F1 history. Of the three other quadruple championship winners, Juan Manuel Fangio was 45 when he claimed his fourth crown, whilst Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher were 38 and 32 respectively.
“If we are to achieve it, then it would be massive,” said Red Bull team principal Horner. “To win it the first time was special, to defend it was remarkable, and we never thought we could surpass the triple. If we get a fourth, it would be something the whole team would be blown away by. It would be phenomenal.”