No Spain no gain for Scots ace Paul Di Resta

After missing out on good on a haul of good points in the last two grands prix in Monaco and Montreal, Bathgate's Paul di Resta returns to Formula One action this weekend determined to get back into the top ten.

The 25-year-old Scot will lead Force India's assault on the European Grand Prix round the harbourside streets of Valencia, and Di Resta knows the circuit is going to prove something of a challenge.

"Valencia's a tough track," he admitted.

"I drove it last year during the Friday practice. It's hard on tyres and, with the fierce temperatures we're expecting in Spain this weekend, I think that's going to be the biggest problem again — managing our tyres.

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"The other thing is the Valencia track is a street circuit - it uses the everyday roads that meander round the harbour - and that means, certainly during Friday, that there's not a lot of grip. But we've shown that we have the car and the team which is capable of getting up to pace very quickly. We did that in both Monaco and Montreal - both street circuits - and I see no reason why we can't do it again this weekend."

Unquestionably, Di Resta has every opportunity to finish in the points this weekend.

However, the Scot, who is still sitting on two world championship points after scoring in Australia and Malaysia, has spent time over the past ten days reflecting on the incident in Montreal which cost him the potential of a podium finish and significant points.

Having fought through the field, Di Resta was pushing the Renault of Nick Heidfeld for fifth place but, as he moved to overtake, the German eased across the path of the Force India damaging the front spoiler.

The Scot was forced to pit for repairs but, to rub salt into the wound, the race stewards gave him a drive-through penalty which cost him another 25 seconds. Di Resta, though, remains adamant he did nothing wrong.

"If I was in the same position again, I would still do what I did," he stated.

"Not everybody saw the onboard footage of what happened. I was just about passed Nick; I must have been about three-quarters alongside him, so it wasn't a move which wasn't going to happen.

"I'd got a good run on him off the Hairpin, I'd chosen the lap before not to make the move because I felt it wasn't quite on, but that lap it was definitely on. He knew I was there.

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"I had made the move on Heidfeld, and what he was trying to achieve by trying to outbrake me on the outside and go round the outside of me was a bit unfair.

"I still feel the penalty I got wasn't right, and yes, I would definitely make the same move again if I was in the same position. I definitely believe the move was on. There's a lot to learn from it. But people have to remember I'm a racing driver and I always want to get the best result possible."

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, will be hoping to put the disappointment of the last lap half-spin in Montreal - which gifted victory to McLaren's Jenson Button - behind him.

Though Vettel recovered to finish second and still holds a significant 60-point lead - a race win is worth 25 points - over second-placed Button, the German is hoping to repeat his Spanish win of 12 months ago.

"Of course, I was disappointed with what happened on the last lap in Montreal," he admitted, "but that's in the past and now I'm focused on winning again in Valencia."

While Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber — who finished third in Montreal — lies third in the championship, Button's flamboyant team-mate Lewis Hamilton is a distant fourth, a massive 76 points behind Vettel with only seven of the 19 races completed. And, after his incident-packed performance in Canada — where he spun Webber and collided at high-speed with Button — his reputation came under further scrutiny when he was spotted having a 15-minute chat with Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh, though, played down suggestions the 2008 world champ is looking to leave the team.

"We will talk about the future with them when the time comes but, at the moment, we're not planning on a different driver line-up," Whitmarsh said emphatically.

Interestingly, while there has been talk of a new extended deal for Button, Hamilton — whose contract ends next year — has remained silent on his long-term plans.

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