Paul di Resta says Nico Hulkenberg's arrival in the second Force India race seat has given the team a new spark ahead of the 2012 Formula 1 season.
After months of speculation, Hulkenberg was confirmed as di Resta's teammate in December. The German was the team's reserve driver during 2011, having previously made his grand prix debut for Williams the year before.
Di Resta admitted he was sad to see Adrian Sutil depart the team, but said having a young, promising lineup would help push the team forward.
"Adrian was a fast guy who had been there for five years – and you don't stay in F1 if you're slow," Di Resta said at the AUTOSPORT International motorsports trade show. "He was a big part of Force India, but the board took the decision to bring Nico in and it should be exciting. It's a young team in terms of the driver line-up [both drivers are under 25] but it should give the team a spark.
"We need to be good teammates, work well together but also have a competitive nature on track so we can bounce off each other. I don't see any reason why we can't do that and support each other.
"We're both on equal territory, as we have the same experience, so it should be good. We're already working together, pushing ideas to the team to try and improve from last year and that is being taken on board."
Di Resta said that new investment, coupled with the experience gained from his first season in F1, would also help Force India's bid to seal fifth in the constructors' championship.
"The team has taken another step [getting] Sahara investment, and slowly in the background we will increase the competitiveness of our team. It won't be immediate but the team is excited about its future and hopefully we can achieve fifth as a constructor.
"My second year is going to be where experience plays in as well: I can arrive at grands prix this year and know what is going to change, what to look for and how to get the perfect balance. Getting that little extra edge is so difficult against these guys because they know it inside out.
"You can always learn and always make mistakes – it's about using that to your advantage to base decisions upon. You can also have tough races and easier ones – that's just the luck of the draw, and I'm very much of the opinion there has to be an element of luck in there to make sure things happen."