FIA F1 - Bahrain Result Offers Force India Needed Boost
London, Apr. 27, 2012: Red Bull may have bounced back to their winning ways in Bahrain but there was another success story from Sakhir, courtesy of Force India’s Paul di Resta. Despite high tyre wear at the circuit, Di Resta excelled after brilliantly exploiting his brave two-stop strategy to record the team’s highest finish so far this year with sixth place.
The young Scot was the only driver to resist the call of a third pit stop and, although he started to struggle on his final set of rubber with over 10 laps to go before the chequered flag, helped by some shrewd KERS usage he managed to stay ahead of the chasing Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. He crossed the finish line just two-tenths ahead of the Spaniard.“Obviously we chose to play our cards differently to other people, to try and make a two-stop work,” Di Resta explained to the team’s official website. “If it was going to work we had to put ourselves in the best position to do that. OK, we were vulnerable at the end, but overall you’ve got to accept that you might be vulnerable at the end of the race for a few positions.
“(My tyres were gone by the last lap) but I did use them, I was a bit heavy footed on the throttle. But Fernando doesn’t give up, does he? He was pushing on. The engineer was keeping me updated and I said, ‘Let me concentrate, I know he’s there, I’ll do my best to do it.’ And I had to play my cards right, because I had to save KERS for the end of the lap, when I was going to be more vulnerable to him.”
Although he managed to keep Alonso behind until the finish, earlier in his final stint Di Resta did have to let Nico Rosberg by in the Mercedes. However, he was happy with his pragmatic decision.
“I tried to make it difficult for Nico, but my tyres were degrading too quickly, whereas at the beginning of the race he was degrading faster and I was reeling him in,” he explained. “You get your moment. He got by me, but sixth position for us is a massive achievement, it’s probably the same as Sebastian winning the race for what we’ve achieved with the car that we’ve got.”
And after such a strong showing, Di Resta is hopeful the team’s confidence will be boosted and they will enjoy another solid performance at next month’s Spanish Grand Prix.
“I think when you have a result like that any team bond gets closer, because I think given everybody’s performance we’ve tried to step it up and tried to do the best, and we’ve probably outperformed any performance we’ve ever done as a team,” he concluded. “We go away happy and hopeful that we can build on this performance in Barcelona.”
Before the Catalunya race, Di Resta will be in action for Force India at next week’s Mugello test. He gets behind the wheel of the VJM05 on Wednesday.