Paul Di Resta was satisfied to leave Albert Park with a world championship point after struggling for much of the Australian Grand Prix weekend. The Briton was knocked out in Q2 yesterday and looked set to miss out on points but a dramatic final lap saw him outdrag Jean-Eric Vergne for tenth on the run to the line.
“It's always nice to start the season with a point, but it was not looking too promising until the last few laps when my engineer told me that I was catching the cars ahead of me”, Di Resta explained. “Fortunately I had saved quite a bit of KERS for the last corner, which helped me get a good run on Vergne and beat him to the line for tenth. So it was a pretty exciting final lap. It's a good way to start the season, but it's clear we have a lot of work to do because we were struggling for pace at the start of each stint, which hurt my overall race pace. Even so, considering where I started and the weekend we've had, I don't think I can be disappointed to have come away with a point.”
Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg didn't make it to the end of lap one following contact with Mark Webber at the start. The incident damaged his suspension and the German was left to curse his luck.
“I don't seem to have much luck at Albert Park. My first race here in 2010 was less than a lap and today was a repeat of that. I'm still not really sure what happened, but I got hit when I turned into the first corner on lap one. It's such a shame because I had made a great start, moved up a couple of positions and then I just felt somebody tap me from behind. There was a puncture and the suspension was damaged so my race was over and I had to park up. These things happen when 22 cars are battling going into a tight first corner, but it's really frustrating to miss out after such a good qualifying session. The good thing is that I will be back in the car in five days' time, which is the best way to bounce back and get over the disappointment.”
Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley felt sorry for Hulkenberg but was relieved to see Di Resta give the team something to show for after an eventful weekend.
“We always felt that today's race was likely to be full of drama and it didn't disappoint – particularly the closing lap of the race when Paul did an excellent job to grab the final point in the dash to the line. He drove a very clean race, stayed out of trouble and made the most of the strategy, but ultimately he struggled for absolute pace over the duration of the stints, which is something we need to address. As for Nico, he was simply the innocent victim of the turn one chaos. He got hit quite hard from behind going into turn one, which caused some serious damage to the left rear suspension and he immediately came on the radio to say that he needed to park the car. We have to take this on the chin because it's part of racing, but it's disappointing for Nico who needs all the race miles he can get at the moment. Still, he's shown what he is capable of and he can be proud of the job he has done this weekend.”