• Indian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Di Resta perplexed by car problem

ESPN Staff
October 28, 2012 « Perez happy with 'magic lap' | Teams unite behind budget cap proposal »
Paul di Resta was 0.7s slower than team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in qualifying © Sutton Images
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Paul di Resta said there is an unknown problem with his Force India which caused him to qualify in 16th place for the Indian Grand Prix.

The result was di Resta's second-worst performance in his Formula One career after he qualified in 17th place for the Belgian Grand Prix last season. However, di Resta described Saturday as "the hardest qualifying session I've had in Formula One" and is hoping Force India can uncover the problem in time for the race.

"Massively [struggling], just can't get any consistency in the car, can't get any confidence in it," Di Resta said. "Having taken some more details in after qualifying there are signs of some issues that we're seeing that maybe influence it, because I think generally as a team performance we're not that great here - we're struggling a bit - but my car's not there with Nico [Hulkenberg]'s; there's nowhere that I can get close to what he is at all. It's miles, but I can feel it in the car itself.

"It's the hardest qualifying session I've had in Formula One and the hardest I've had to contend with, so we need to get on top of things for a bit of damage limitation [in the race]. It's not over but we need to understand what the actual issue is to try and rectify it."

Di Resta believes the team will be able to try a few things to investigate the problem ahead of the race despite parc ferme regulations.

"There won't be a repeat of this in Abu Dhabi, that's one thing, but the focus is to try and see what we can do. Although you're in parc ferme, there's obviously things we need to make sure are right with the car … I think there'll be a massive investigation, because you never see that much distance between me and Nico, it's always tenths - if you're lucky - and there's indication as I said that there's something not quite right with it."

Despite being perplexed by the issue, di Resta added that he wasn't ruling out a points finish.

"I'm not going to give up on it, it's 16th but it's going to be an interesting race with strategy. If anybody, we were quite good on the tyres; Nico's long run on the soft looked quite competitive the other day so I'm reasonably hopeful we can try and do something. We'll certainly be putting the pressure to try and do it."