Q&A with Paul di Resta
"Force India not far away just now"
Paul Di Resta had another good weekend in China, qualifying a superb eighth after a red flag caught out several other drivers in potentially faster cars, and then putting in a charging drive to 11th while running a two-stop strategy. Although he missed the chance to score points for the third race in a row, it was a positive weekend for the Scot. We asked him about Shanghai and the season so far.
Paul, you qualified eighth and nearly made the points again in China. Bearing in mind there are big upgrades coming, is it encouraging to have started the season so well?
There’s good things to come, and we’ll stay positive about that. We did a very good job in qualifying, but at the same time we had a Mercedes and two Renaults behind us, quick cars, plus Mark Webber’s Red Bull! So it was always going to be tough to stay in a points’ position. We came very close, but we just ran out of tyres at the end. Maybe the strategy wasn’t right. But I think that what didn’t help my weekend was the fact that we missed all of FP2.
You know how it is to miss FP1 on Friday morning, but FP2 is that much more important, isn’t it?
Definitely. We had three sets of tyres that we didn’t use, and also missed the higher and low fuel runs. It is frustrating, but I understand that things don’t always run smoothly on a weekend. We had some issues, which we don’t want to happen, but we did the best job possible, and I’m very thankful to the team that we got it all sorted.
You made a good start and passed Jaime Alguersuari, and then after that you seemed to be fighting people most of the time.
It was a great launch, the guys who take care of that have done well. I was behind Alonso in the first stint. Then I was behind Michael, who jumped us in the pits. Later I had a battle with Heidfeld, Kobayashi and Petrov at the end. There was a bit of contact with Nick at the last corner, but it was nothing more than a racing incident. We were both equally squeezing each other. He tried to go round the outside of me, he didn’t leave me enough room, so we touched. I knocked my front wing and got a puncture.
We heard you on the team radio talking about the rear of the car early on. Was that a tyre issue?
That was just a consequence of not doing a high fuel run on Friday to get the aero balance. We had a bit of a guess, and it wasn’t quite right. I think we’ve got to be very positive, given our relative performance. We got what we could out of it, and it just wasn’t enough, unfortunately.
You’ve come to F1 with perfect timing, because there is so much going on in the races now. Have you enjoyed the challenge of the tyres and the DRS?
It’s all been relatively manageable. The races have been great fun, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, and hopefully getting some more performance. We’re not far away just now.
Any thoughts on the next race in Istanbul?
I don’t know the track at all, but I’ll get some Friday morning running. Hopefully we’ll have a good session.
There’s a break before Turkey. After the hectic start to the season do you feel that you need a break?
It’s been a very busy four weeks, and I’ve never done three races in four weeks. It’s been good, but some rest is welcome, and hopefully I’ll come back stronger. I’ll be with the family at Easter, and just catching up with some friends and doing some training.