• Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Di Resta takes credit for 'ballsy decision'

ESPN Staff
August 24, 2013 « Massa admits tyres still concern him | McLaren falls short of Button's expectations at Spa »
Paul di Resta was the only driver to start Q3 on medium tyres © Getty Images
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Paul di Resta said it was his "ballsy decision" to go out on intermediate tyres at the start of Q3 at Spa.

With rain just starting to fall, nine of the ten cars in the final part of qualifying went out on slicks in an attempt to get a lap in before the track got wet. However, di Resta went out on intermediates and set the provisional pole position time as the rest of the runners had to pit on the increasingly wet track.

Originally nobody could get close to di Resta's time but as the rain abated late in the session di Resta was knocked back to fifth place by the two Mercedes and Red Bulls. Di Resta admitted he had entertained thoughts of holding on to pole position but felt fifth was ultimately better than Force India could have achieved without his tyre choice.

"There was a small glimpse [of pole] I suppose, based on the way the weather was," di Resta said. "Unfortunately the shower caught me in the last sector when I was on my lap and then it cleared the track when one end was wet and the other end was dry. The intensity wasn't enough as we thought.

"But it was a ballsy decision and it was basically me that made it. The team were saying 'We're going to go on slicks' as everybody else was rolling by and I was like 'No, let's do something different, let's get it on, look at the screens.' People were putting umbrellas up, putting cagoules on and when I got out there in the first sector I thought 'Ooh this might be risky' but as soon as I got to sector three I knew the best chance we were going to get was then.

"To be fair we had the best conditions and ended up P5. If we were out at the end there is no way we would have been near there because we struggled a lot in the wet during that session. Fingers crossed tomorrow will be dry because the balance was quite strong in Q2 to get us in to Q3. Getting through and only 0.7s off was massively important compared to where we've been recently."