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Force India will be disappointed if it doesn't reach the final phase of qualifying and secure points at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix. Given the team's recent performances it's a realistic target, suggests Paul Di Resta.
"We're coming here based upon how our car performed in Valencia and I think as a weekend that was probably the strongest we've been this year," said the Scot. "This track obviously is nothing like anything else but given the result we got here last year I think you can safely come here and say getting into Q3 and the points is definitely the target."
The highly rated Scot, who recently signed with Jenson Button's management company, has been matched by teammate Nico Hulkenberg in recent races. As the slow starting team gathers momentum and the season begins to wind down competition between the two could have seen both drivers stock fall, however quite the opposite has happened.
"It's been quite a good in-house battle," smiled di Resta. "In terms of the team it's probably one of the closest in the paddock.
"You always want to beat your teammate," he continued. "You're not always going to beat him; he's had some good results and I've had some good results. I can say I've been unlucky in certain circumstances and Nico will probably say the same."
Fourth place in Belgium for Hulkenberg equalled the team's best ever result, and has gone some way to explaining speculation that both drivers could be on the move for 2013; Hulkenberg to Ferrari and di Resta to McLaren, if rumours are to be believed.
"It's a question of getting your head down and working," said di Resta. "Obviously you've got to have people working in the background and seeing exactly where your future is going to be. At the moment obviously I'm a Force India driver and I've got to concentrate on doing the best job for them at this point."
How well Force India is able to round out the season is anyone's guess. The team has moved the majority of development effort on to the 2013 car though it still harbours ambitions of overhauling Sauber in the Constructors' Championship.
"There becomes a point where you have to switch, and this is normally the point," di Resta explained of the team's decision to focus development on 2013. "You would like more but with the tools we have I'm sure we can improve and I think the biggest thing is not to fatigue as a team; make sure your fitness is there and make sure you stay sharp.
"We're obviously up against a massive task with what Sauber achieved in Monza, and Vijay saying he still wants sixth," he added. "It's an unlikely position I think for us to achieve now but not out of reach.
"From this point on last year we picked up quite a lot of points compared to people around us and hopefully the small network of this team will thrive again."
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