Force India has been vindicated in its decision to devote so much of its pre-season preparation to tire work, reckons Paul di Resta.
The team did not stand out during the winter, but has begun the 2013 Formula 1 season as the fifth quickest, behind only Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes. Although Force India's Malaysian Grand Prix was wrecked by a wheelnut issue, it led in Melbourne with Adrian Sutil and has been a consistent top-10 factor.
Di Resta puts this down to Force India working so hard in ensuring its 2013 car was in harmony with the latest generation of Pirellis.
"I think it was a good approach in the winter," he said. "Some days we sacrificied a lot of lower fuel running to work on high fuel runs. We were very aware of what we wanted to achieve and where we wanted to be with the car and I think we've done that.
"[The early performance] was credit to how that worked and the data that we fed back was essentially all in preparation for Melbourne."
The Scot said being gentle on tires was a fundamental part of the VJM06's DNA.
"Essentially, we had a different wear profile," di Resta explained. "There is something that you can work into it to influence it.
"What we saw in Barcelona [testing] was high degradation and everybody talked about the tires but essentially in Melbourne it was more of an anormal circumstance in terms of the temperatures and the track temps. But I think we were quite clear in our approach and how we were fixed for the weekend."