Force India scored just four points in the opening five races of 2011, leaving it eighth in the constructors' battle.
From the 10th round in Germany however its fortunes dramatically improved, and it scored in every race bar Japan until the season's end - a run which included 12-point hauls in Singapore and the Brazilian finale.
Di Resta lauded such progress as 'incredible' and predicted that, should it be able to continue such momentum, the team would be able to take the challenge to its nearest rivals in 2012.
Newey: Red Bull can still improve
"If you see the difference from where we started this year to where we moved on to, it has been incredible," the Scot explained.
"Those foundation blocks that we built earlier in the year were going to compromise us a bit, but we came out a much stronger package towards the end of the year than we ever imagined we would be.
"If we can keep that momentum continuing into next year then we can take it to our nearest competitors, who were Renault."
Di Resta, who will partner Nico Hulkenberg in his second year at Force India, said he also expected himself to improve as a natural course of progression over the winter.
"I think you always go away from any class into the winter and you come back a stronger person - although I don't know why," he said.
"I believe that. It is not something to do with your emotions, it is not something that drives you, it just happens.
"I hope it does and I get a bit more speed, because if I get more speed then hopefully I can be more successful with it.
"It is great to come out where we were, to be in good spirits and certainly be very proud of Force India and what they have achieved this season."
Kubica loss 'biggest blow' to Renault
Indian Grand Prix
Mallya urges Force India to raise game