• European Grand Prix - Qualifying

Di Resta rues 'missed opportunity' in qualifying

ESPN Staff
June 23, 2012 « Schumacher takes blame for poor grid position | Unwell Glock to miss race »
Paul di Resta was second fastest in Q2 but almost 0.5s slower in Q3 © Sutton Images

Paul di Resta described his qualifying performance as a "missed opportunity" after securing tenth place on the grid for the European Grand Prix.

Di Resta was second quickest in Q2 and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg third as Force India showed real pace in qualifying. However, neither driver could replicate that performance in Q3 and di Resta will start tenth after making an error in the final sector. He had been the quickest man in sector two but lost half a second to the best times in sector three and admitted it was his mistake that cost him a better starting position.

"It was a bit of a missed opportunity," di Resta said. "We showed in Q2 what we were able to do, we probably could have been quickest in there - just struggled a little bit through turn five on that one. On the last lap I just tried as much as I could and unfortunately just locked the rears and locked an inside wheel as well at turn 17. The lap was identical to Q2 until that point and would have been the same probably."

When asked what could have been achieved, di Resta felt the second row was within reach for him.

"P4 looking at it, really realistically. If we'd improved in the last sector P3 possibly. It was in there. If you look at all the best sectors and everything together it looks quite good, but the positive side is we've shown very competitive as we have done (all weekend). I don't have to tell you - you can look at the sector times - what happened and how, but it cost us a lot of positions. I suppose that's the difference, if you're going to make it an exceptional lap it was all about doing it. I was very confident on the brakes in to turn 12 just before that."

Despite his analysis, di Resta is remaining positive ahead of the race.

"We're moving up. Obviously we've got a lot of work to do tomorrow but there's no reason why we can't be fairly optimistic to try and go forward given our performance in all the conditions this week."

Hulkenberg agreed that the team was slightly disappointed with the end result but could make progress on Sunday.

"I think overall it's a great result for the team to get both cars into Q3," Hulkenberg said. "But maybe we were hoping for a little bit more than P8 and P10, especially considering how we have performed so far this weekend. I don't think the increase in temperatures helped us because the car felt more difficult to drive today and a bit nervous at times. For the race tomorrow we are still near the front and will take the fight to the cars around us to try and come away with some points."