• Bahrain Grand Prix

Di Resta praises Force India strategy

ESPNF1 Staff
April 22, 2012 « Schumacher focuses on positives after tough weekend | No penalties for Rosberg's moves on Alonso and Hamilton »
Paul di Resta finished ahead of both McLarens and both Ferraris at Sakhir © Sutton Images

Paul di Resta praised Force India's strategy for his sixth place in the Bahrain Grand Prix as he managed to two-stop in the race.

Force India skipped the second practice session on Friday in order to leave the circuit before nightfall after an incident on Wednesday evening. That put the team on the back foot for the rest of the weekend, but di Resta responded by qualifying in the top ten and then two-stopping to finish sixth, and he said that despite a lack of data the team picked the right strategy to make up places.

"We didn't make the best start," di Resta told Sky Sports. "I fell back a few places - we've had a few difficulties this year - but I was able to get passed Senna on the first lap, passed Perez two laps later and I was looking after the tyres at that point. I saw everybody coming in to the points and there was absolutely no sign of my tyres degrading at that point. Even to the point where we could have probably went a bit further but we were falling behind cars that were three stopping that were behind us then so you were going to be coming out in traffic that you didn't want to.

"We had to stop a bit earlier and that's probably why we lost out to Nico in the end, not being able to just get in clean air when we wanted to but everything's a gamble at the end of the day. We've chosen the right strategy to push us forward; we were running fifth at one point and getting sixth is a lot of points for us given where the car is at the moment."

After explaining how he held on to sixth place Di Resta said the result would act as motivation for Force India ahead of the start of the European season next month.

"The result today is massive for us. The team did an amazing job all weekend, the strategy came together and the pit-stops were perfect. We knew it would be a big ask to make only two stops and it was a close run thing at the end because my tyres completely went away on the final lap. I had Fernando [Alonso] very close behind me, but I saved a bit of KERS coming out of the final corner and managed to stay ahead. Apart from that, the car has been awesome. So we go away from here as a very happy team with a few weeks to reflect on things and determined to arrive in Barcelona in fighting form."