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Di Resta: “Give me a faster car and I’ll get a podium”
Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Apr 2013   |  1:09 pm GMT  |  109 comments

Paul di Resta has sent out a message to his Force India team: “Give me a faster car and I’ll get a podium. The Scot drove an impressive race in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, leading at one point and spending much of the grand prix in the top three. However Di Resta was passed by the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, who was on fresher option tyres, in the closing stages and had to settle for fourth.

Despite just missing out on the first podium finish of his career, Di Resta told JA on F1 after the race that the team is working at it’s maximum, however they must keep pushing and find more resources if they are to keep fighting for big points.

Force India moved above McLaren to fifth in the constructors’ championship as a result of Di Resta’s fourth place. The team have been competitive all season and could have been higher in the standings had it not been for faulty wheel nuts which spoiled both drivers race.

A fantastic result in Bahrain Paul and you equalled your best result in Formula 1 but you were so close to a podium. What’s your emotion right now?

“At the end of the day, I’ve got to congratulate everybody in the team. I think our performance has been good. We’ll go away with positive notes from it. We got caught out by somebody [Grosjean] who didn’t qualify where they should have, had four new sets of tyres and did a three-stop strategy which would have been the fastest way for any car if you had the tyres. They had the tyre life to do it.

“But there were strengths in the grand prix which we picked up on. Maybe we could have been a bit more aggressive at times. But it was a solid job when you can take advantage of the misfortunes of what the Ferraris had but essentially beat McLaren on outright pace. It’s crucial for us to pick up those points against out competitors.”

Having had a debrief with the team, can you see anywhere in race that could have been different for you to get that podium?

“Maybe the last tyre choice but I would definitely have made the same choice again given the information we had. You can always say when you’re doing a two-stop that you’re compromised because slower cars got in front of us with their first pit stop, and when I came out from my first pit stop, I was stuck behind them for 12 laps losing time – but you just have to bite your teeth and get on with it. It was definitely the right strategy for us.

“Another day, we’d probably get a podium out of it but the thing we can say is if we had faster car, we would have been in a position in front of Raikkonen and we would have beat him. But you’re racing cars that are qualifying on pole and winning races. Given the misfortune that we had in Malaysia in the heat, we’ve got to take a great amount of positives from the first four races but not forget that the team needs to work hard to bring updates because if they want this podium they’re going to have to work for it probably more than we [the drivers] do at the moment.”

It was a great result for the team, moving them ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ championship, which must be a nice feeling after these first four flyaway races?

“It is and given that we lost a grand prix [Malaysia] that we were very strong at, it’s all there. But we know McLaren are going to bounce back. They’ve got a huge amount of resource, they don’t lie down. But we’ll keep pushing as much as we can. It’s going to be an enjoyable couple of weeks but we’ll arrive in Barcelona with a lot of work to do – and we need to repeat it. We’ll be praying that the sun is out and shining quite hard.”

Do you think you just got more out of the car this weekend or is performance track specific?

“I think this is where we would probably have been in Malaysia. We can tell the car is performing well when it’s hot. We can’t put our finger on it. We were strong in the race in China when it was cooler and not so quick in qualifying when it was a bit warmer. When you get the car in the right operating window, it makes a big difference and we’ve seen that through the fluctuation up and down the grid.

“We were a second off pole on Saturday but the car that qualified pole finished ninth. It’s good, it’s good racing but it’s difficult. There’s a lot of freedom and you can’t always predict where it’s going to be. I think everybody is getting on top of the tyres and understanding them but Pirelli are going to change them a bit so that will throw another question mark into the mix I think in Barcelona [for the Spanish Grand Prix on May 12].”

When you get on a plane home, what will be your overriding emotion?

“I’m not getting on a plane home soon, I’ve got to go to India first. But I’m obviously a lot happier. After the second stop, we were racing [Mark] Webber and at points, we were pulling away from the Webber-Hamilton battle. I think Grosjean just got clear of them through having new tyres. You’re going to be vulnerable to someone on a new set of medium tyres. If we had them, we would have fitted them and he probably wouldn’t have passed us.

“In terms of our stint pace compared to Raikkonen, would he have got past us with the same age tyres? Probably not because we had both done the same amount of laps at end of race [on the tyres] and we were doing the same pace.  But it was simple, he had fresher, softer tyres and when the car’s a bit lower and the temperature drops it falls into the window of that strategy.”

What are your emotions after finishing fourth?

“I think I’ve got to be happy with it. You always want to get on the podium but it will come soon enough. It will make us work a bit harder. It’s 12 points taken with both hands but looking at every session this weekend, our performance was 100% what we could have done, so to go away with all those boxes ticked, credit to all the boys who are working hard after two long weeks.”

Deputy team principal Bob Fernley said there was naturally a bit of disappointment on missing out on a podium – do you feel that as well?

“Yeah I do. The team want a podium. I said ‘give me a faster car and I’ll get a podium’. If they work harder in the design office and essentially get a bit more resource in there, there’s no reason why we can’t do that. As a team, we’re performing to our maximum capacity – it’s just about getting that little bit more to get you a bit more comfortable at end of races and get you in position in qualifying every week which gives you credits to do that.”

Has team got resources to do that?

“The team is punching above its weight at the moment. It’s a midfield team. You can’t say we are a team the same as McLaren. I’ve been part of this team and it’s grown but it takes years and years to keep comfortably doing it. I would say it will take a few more years to do it. But if we can get this car in the operating window, it’s strong. We’ll be doing what we can in the engineering office to do that weekend in and weekend out.”

You’ve bounced back after a disappointing end to last year. Did you feel like you had a point to prove?

“Not so much a point to prove but I think I had convinced myself that nothing was going right at the end of last year and nothing was going to go right. Anything that could have gone wrong went wrong. This season was a fresh start. And I think we’ve performed to what we could have. I don’t see any more that we could have done. We’ll keep doing it. In Melbourne, we had a strong race, in China we had a strong race. We were on for one in Malaysia before the problems and we had another good weekend in Bahrain.

“We just have to keep rolling on, that’s what I say to the boys. We’ve got some new bits coming for Barcelona which are quite exciting if they work. It could turn it around. But not all the other teams are sleeping so I’m not going to get myself carried away. I’ll go away and think about it for a couple of weeks and get training. It’s exciting going back to Europe, I can get the family back on board and let them come and enjoy it and have a bit more support from it.”

Do you think the pecking order will change with all the teams bringing update packages to Barcelona?

“I think the one that is probably going to be the big one is McLaren and where they are going to be and if their updates make a huge difference. But we’ve got bits on the car which haven’t worked properly so we’ll be trying to optimise them as well as bringing new stuff. I think these cars are so close to their potential that it’s so hard to find those small bits.

“It was probably us concentrating so hard in winter testing, particularly in the last test in Barcelona where we didn’t bring any new bits and focused on understanding what we had, that has made the difference. We left Barcelona with a good car and I think we can go back there with higher temperatures and the car should hopefully be in a bit more of a sweet spot.”

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Hi James,

If you did a thorough analysis vs Sutil you would have noticed that Sutil beat Di Resta convincingly in the head to head at Bahrain.

Sutil had a damaged wing through no fault of his own so by Lap 2 was 80 seconds behind Di Resta.

However by the last lap of the race Sutil had reduced that defeceit to 55 seconds on the same strategy. This is a whopping 25 seconds Sutil gained on Di Resta from lap 2 onwards despite having to deal with traffic also.


I know, and he did a faster race that Vettel if you look at it that way as he was closer to him at the end than he was after his early stop.

But this is a strategy report about the tactics that decided the race, not a ‘who did the best race’ report.


I have a hard time like DiResta. Sure, he’s a great sportsman and 100x the driver I am, so I recognize his professional competency, but his personality rubs me the wrong way and I don’t find him to be sympathetic. Given that he doesn’t podium, let alone win, and I’m not inclined to cheer for him. I don’t wish him to fail, but get a personality, Paul!


He is dull as dish water. Wouldn’t matter him being not a great driver if he had a personality but he never does or says anything interesting.


I agree there is too much arrogance in what he says. He should be pleased with fourth place and should thank the team for giving him such a good car.

It is notable that he didn’t even mention Sutil, who was unlucky to pick up a puncture on lap 1 and after that was not only faster than di Resta but everybody else as well. You have to put that down to sour grapes I guess.

And yet it may be characteristic that Paul while not as fast as Sutil is good at staying out of trouble and getting it home, whereas Sutil is more prone to getting into trouble. That still marks Paul out as just a good number two though.


Glad to see on this forum other people who aren’t taken in by the Di Resta hype!! I’ve never known such a mediocre driver get so much

TV coverage. He’s never shown even a glimmer

of being a truly great driver, and yet seems to think he should be in a top team!


yes your right,if he is so good why aint he buttons team mate now?

force india is doing well its a good start to the season for them.

not calling the guy but the way he comes across is not good.least button smiles and has a laugh to compensate for being a morning git.

imagine them two in the same team ha.


Force India aren’t that far away. They have probably the fifth fastest car, leading a group including McLaren, and the lone Sauber of Hulkenberg.

They are capable of getting onto the podium if Red Bull, Lotus, Ferrari and Mercedes drop the ball, or have some misfortune.


Give him the fastest car and he might even win. Maybe…


Congrats DiResta for getting a small breakthrough. Not everyone can be as good as Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen or Vettel.

As one of the best of the rest, DiResta ain’t too bad!

Craig in Manila

People say funny things.

1. “Give me a faster car and I’ll get a podium” essentially implying that he is waiting for them to lift their game.

2. “The team are performing to maximum capacity” which obviously means that the Team cannot perform any better.

Anyways, one result does not maketh the man. My jury remains out on this guy.


Man – give this guy a REALLY fast car and he might even come 2nd in the world drivers championship.

What a joke.


A better driver will the one yanking the hell out of a car like Senna in the Toleman.


Can’t happen anymore in the Pirelli era, bud. Senna would have pitted 8 times in the Bahrain race. I hear that you need to be driving at a solid 80% pace the car would allow and wave anyone trying to pass to score some good results.


Says a driver who has lost out to his team mate twice in two years. Last year was a comprehensive drubbing. Second most over rated driver on the grid…after a certain ex-world champion who moans when his team mate attacks him on the track.

Scuderia McLaren

Yep. Agree 100%. Add an Aussie with a Bull on his car that has raced two centuries and you have all 3 of the most overrated in F1.


He could have had a podium if Force India had changed to a 3 stop and covered off Vettel…


Read the article – lack of tyres prevented him from running a 3 stopper!


That’s what he’s suggesting, sure. But he didn’t use any more tyres than the other people who qualified at the front.

He would have had to use a scrubbed set, at least once. So? Most people did. Unless he actually damaged the tyres beyond minor flat spots, there was no reason why that would have unduly disadvantaged him.


I was wondering why they didn’t put him on a more “normal” 3-stop. He was lying 2nd after only 6 laps. If they’d had genuine faith in their own car’s pace, surely a normal strategy would have made sure slower cars wouldn’t have gotten in his way in the pit stop sequences, for example?

It had a bit of a Sauber-esque feel to it for me: so used to having to find alternative strategies to get a good result, that when they were there on pace last year, they struggled to accept that almost and hurt their own chances almost by sticking with alternative strategies.


Very good point. If Paul had pitted at the end of lap 11 or even 12, he would have come out in front of the Rosberg – Button group, as can be seen here:

He then could have done a three-stopper. He would have had to use one set of used tyres, but then so did most other drivers who started from the top 10. A missed chance for Force India.


He thinks he’s so great and he’s had 2 full seasons so far in F1, one with Sutil and one with Hulkenberg and he’s been beaten twice.


and that brings me to the question, how many non-brits at that vicious prove or go home mid/low team competition level would have been given a 3rd chance.. I cant think of many names.


If you read the article properly you will see that Paul is merely saying that the car is not yet quite fast enough to achieve that last little bit. I don’t know why everyone says he’s a moaner, he certainly takes the job seriously and he’s always polite and helpful and takes the time to speak to the reporters in detail about any part of F1.

Nigel Mansell was the king of the moaners and he ended up a national hero(also took him quite a few years to finally start winning). Seems to me that Paul is kicking Sutil’s arse too.


But Mansell was a good driver…

“Seems to me that Paul is kicking Sutil’s arse too.”

For the moment maybe, but don’t expect it to last…


“If they work harder in the design office”

Yup, I’m sure they’re all just sat there playing on their Xboxes all day at the moment you ungrateful little wretch. Try actually outdriving your car like everyone else has to for once.

He’s never getting beaten because of anything he does, it’s always someone/something elses fault. I can’t stand him.


Agreed – that “if they work harder” comment really infuriated me, and frankly cost PDR massive points in my estimation. Spoilt child. We need to have Sutil not being taken out in races so that he can show the little child how to drive what is given to him, not moan about what he wants.


yes your right he only turns up and drives,the engineers work really hard,he will have 3 weeks off now while they all working.

he should praise the workers for giving him a car to finish 4th in.

before qualifying paul would off bite your arm off to finish 4th.

i think he is worried about sutil coming in to the team after a year off and being as fast or faster than him.


got to say the comments above me are ridiculous! i don’t believe any other driver would have finished higher then 4th in a force India on Sunday. also people complain when drivers are too “mediafied” then complain when they give an honest answer! give the guy a break, any article about di resta always turns into who can slag him off the most, rather then how well he drove in the race!


Ridiculous is when you say something that isn’t true..and sorry what Paul said simply wasn’t true. No one doubted he drove a good race but lets be real & keep it in perspective. Which I think many of the above posters addressed.


+1. If Kimi says anything of the sort people praise him…


Kimi never blame his team even back in mclaren days when his car more likely to broke down than finish races.


Kimmi speaks his mind. Paul speaks from frustration. KIMMI has finished in the points in 22 consecutive races. World champion can out drive a car around its problem and still be on the podium. Any of this is available with Paul

? Hence people adore Kimmi and frown on Paul.


Corrections, it’s 21 consecutive races in the points. Four from beating the record.


I don’t think the issue is what exactly is being said, more like how they say it and just a general perception of the driver. Yes, they might say same things. But same as when Vettel does his “I want to be cool” epic fail remarks, people can’t help but cringe.

Obviously for some reason, plenty of people perceive Paul differently to what you think and you can’t justify it with “the others do it”.




If Paul keeps up like this, I can see him in the Lotus next year when Kimi goes to Red Bull……. Would like to see him in a proper quick car, just to scratch an itch.!


Dear James, please pass this on to our friendly Scotsman

Great effort Paul but your wrong on a number of counts ;-

1. You did have a faster car than Raikkonen – you qualified 7th whereas Kimi was 8th and finished two places ahead!.

The force India was quicker in a straight line also

2. Romain Grosjean had an impact in the race and you did not !- he made one extra stop and finished ahead of you- sure he had fresher Rubber but he lost 20+ sec getting them on. Also he came from 11th not 7th and had to fight more than you did.

3. Kimi had one lap older tyres on the last stint Not newer and at the last stop Kimi was 2 seconds ahead so – So you couldn’t have caught him had you stopped on the same lap.

4. Kimi pulled a gap of 7.9.- 8.5 seconds during the last stint . Then the last 10 laps Kimi pulled away again to over 10sec on the same rubber.

So No you weren’t pulling faster times you were comprehensively beaten by the only driver on the same strategy, on the same tyres, in a car that qualified behind you and was technically slower at that circuit. You are good but you are no Iceman and you are already being matched by your new team mate at other circuits -head down arse up and keep chipping away it was a good effort but many others would like a “faster car” including those that beat you.


And actually, Kimi started from grid 8 vs. Paul from grid 5 due to Webber’s and Hamilton’s penalties..


Thanks..thats right

Scuderia McLaren



Nico Hulkenberg didn’t need a faster car to take the lead from a McLaren in Brazil or to have real race-winning pace there. All he needed to do was have some patience and not sideswipe Lewis Hamilton going into the first corner.

Shut up and drive, Paul.


Yep. Paul has pretty much been average for the last three years, and will probably not change.


Agree with all the other comments, bit of an idiotic statement to make… Surely it’s obvious that if you have a faster car you wold be able to contend for podium positions on a regular basis!


Sorry but he has had three years to prove himself and he hasn’t done anything special. Perez managed to impress in a Sauber and Vetel even won for Torro Rosso. What has Di Resta done apart from complain at every race?




Don’t know why, but Di Resta is massively unpopular compared to Hulkenberg, Sutil….and many others no doubt.

As long as he doesn’t say ‘is it cos I is Scotch?’, he might be able to weather the storm!



I don’t believe they like being called that…

Try Scottish.


To win one must first visualize oneself winning and that’s what Paul is trying to do. Good luck Paul, but saying if you’d “had another set of fresh tyres you would have fitted them, and Romain wouldn’t have passed you” is nonsense. If you had fitted fresh tyres, you would have finished twentysomething seconds, behind the Lotus and not even have been near him. If if if!

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