• Belgian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Di Resta expecting tough race

ESPN Staff
September 2, 2012 « Grosjean defends decision not to run DDRS | McLaren not focused on Alonso »
Paul di Resta believes Force India is too far off the pace in sector two © Sutton Images
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Paul di Resta believes he is in for a tough race at Spa despite starting from ninth on the grid because Force India is slow in sector two.

Having got through to Q3, di Resta was unable to improve on his best lap time from Q2 and qualified in tenth - although Mark Webber's grid penalty promotes him to ninth. However, having set a best middle sector time over a second slower than the fastest of the day, di Resta is vulnerable to the two Red Bull cars behind, and he said he didn't think the car is quick enough in race trim in the other two sectors to defend his position.

"I think it's marginal top ten in qualifying, and in the race I just hope that it's a bit more improved on high fuel because it's certainly not been as strong as it should have been in races," Di Resta said. "But that doesn't mean to say we should rule ourselves out for here, because it's a bit different - temperatures are different and tyre compounds are different - but it's going to be tough. We're slow in the middle sector but reasonably competitive in sector one and sector three, but not massively top of the charts; not enough out of sync I don't think to make a difference."

Di Resta admitted he was pleased with his qualifying performance, but disappointed not to gain a few more positions in the final part of the session.

"I think we're reasonably happy we got in to Q3, the only downside is we didn't manage to go a bit quicker in Q3. Looking at it now we shouldn't have run, but at the same point there was four cars within a tenth in Q2 at the end so it was all to play for; we could have been anywhere between tenth and seventh as far as I could see it. Coming in to the weekend we would have been happy with that, this track demands a fair amount from the car and it's put us in a position to fight for points."