Paul di Resta believes his Force India team's best chance of turning its impressive Friday practice pace into an equally strong Bahrain Grand Prix result is if tire degradation stays high or worsens.
The Scot finished both practice sessions on Friday in fifth position, and he reckons the Silverstone squad is certain to be in the top 10 in qualifying on Saturday. Di Resta feels that the gentleness with which his car treats this year's tires will boost his chances of a strong result on Sunday.
"The more difficult it is [with the tires], the better it would be for us," said di Resta. The Force India driver finished in eighth place in last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, and reckons a strong result is on the cards again.
"I would certainly like to think that Q3 is where we are at the moment," he added. "I think I can say if we qualified anywhere in the top 10, I'm fairly sure that we'd be up for a repeat of a decent race."
Teammate Adrian Sutil was ninth fastest on Friday, but the German admitted he still had work to do with the setup of his car.
"I'm still not totally comfortable with the car – either for short or long runs," he said. "It all feels very low grip at the moment so the set-up is not quite right for me yet.
"As for the tires, there are no real concerns. My long runs looked competitive and both the medium and hard compounds seem to be working well for us in the high temperatures – as they did in Malaysia."