April 3rd (GMM).- Having missed out on a race seat with the famous team in 2013, Paul di Resta now hopes to beat McLaren -- at the wheel of a Force India. The Silverstone based team has performed above expectations and wants to keep that trend in Shanghai.
With Lewis Hamilton leaving for Mercedes, Scot di Resta was a top candidate to replace him, before McLaren decided to sign the well-heeled Mexican Sergio Perez.
Boss Martin Whitmarsh admits that signing Perez over di Resta was, in the end, a "very close decision".
However, McLaren then launched the radical new MP4-28, and so far the 2013 Force India has looked genuinely more competitive.
Indeed, the Silverstone based team - now ending its technical partnership with McLaren - has more than double the famous British team's early points tally.
And that is even despite a terminal flaw with Force India's new wheel-nut system in Malaysia recently.
"I've a lot of respect for what McLaren do," di Resta is quoted by PA Sport.
"Although they are struggling at the moment, they can develop. But we will be pushing to stay in front of them."
He is confident Force India will again have the measure of McLaren next weekend in China.
"Our performance so far has been far better than people expected, far better than people could probably overhaul in two weeks," said the 26-year-old.
Force India has been -somewhat- a surprise in the midfield. The gossip and turmoil generated around Vijay Mallya (Principal) regarding his finances migtht've have an impact on develoment.
Nevertheless, during he pre-season testing the team looked strong and even better once the official action started in Australia.