Di Resta targets top-three finish
Paul Di Resta believes he has to finish on the podium this season to classify it as a success.
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At the start of his third season with Force India, and with 39 races under his belt, the 26-year-old's best result to date was fourth in last year's Singapore Grand Prix.
With a top-three finish the target, Di Resta said: "It's next on my list of things to achieve.
"I came close in Singapore, so it's not a secret that is the biggest target I have this year.
"After that we'll set other goals we think are realistic for where our car is, but I expect to be racing the likes of Sauber and Williams again.
"As for Mercedes, they look like they've moved up a step compared to last year, but never say never."
The season ahead, which starts on Sunday with the Australian Grand Prix, is a crucial one for Di Resta given his current contract runs out at the end of the year.
Di Resta knows if he is to remain in the sport then the past two seasons are simply a stepping stone towards greater objectives.
"We're starting the season and I'm not going to talk about contracts at the moment. That would be unfair," added Di Resta.
"What I am trying to do as a driver is build my reputation in Formula One, more than anything, to make sure I secure myself for a long time in the sport.
"Whether that will be elsewhere, we'll see what opportunities arise.
"But I only want to think about this weekend rather than next year, which will be a new era for Formula One, and would be great to be a part of."
Asked as to the key to building his reputation, Di Resta said: "Consistency is one of the things I want to work on.
"We have seen when we get the car in an operating window it gets big results, so hopefully we can achieve that more often.
"Essentially, if we have the tools we know we can perform as a race team to do that.
"I just want to keep plugging away and coming away from each weekend saying we achieved everything we could have, or very close to it.
"It all comes down to taking any opportunity because the likes of a sixth, seventh place is an excellent result for this team.
"If you can get a few in a row like that it makes a huge impact on the points tally."
Unfortunately for Di Resta, his opening day of practice was what he described as "quite hard" as he sustained damage to the floor of his car that left him 12th quickest, four places and 0.9secs behind team-mate Adrian Sutil.
"We broke something on the car we couldn't fix for FP2, so we were really fighting and I couldn't get a full impression," said Di Resta.
"We know we can repair it, and given how Adrian fared, it doesn't look too bad."