Paul di Resta secured an impressive eighth place in qualifying today for the Canadian Grand Prix, and is confident of scoring a good haul of points in tomorrow’s race.
His Force India team were denied two cars in Q3 after yellow flags forced team-mate Nico Hulkenberg to abandon his quickest lap.
“I think we can be very happy with eighth today, which puts us in a strong position for the race,” said Di Resta. “There was probably a little bit more speed in the car because I was a little bit over-committed in the chicanes on my final lap in Q3, but I don't think it would have made a big difference to my starting position.
“In all the sessions so far we've shown how competitive the car is, especially during long runs, and I think we can be confident of scoring some good points tomorrow. It will be a long race and we just have to wait and see what happens with the weather and who has the best understanding of the tyres.”
Hulkenberg is confident that he would have joined his team-mate in the top ten, had circumstances been different.
“I don't think that P13 reflects the pace we had in the car today,” he said. “We looked very strong in Q1 and I felt really happy with the car, especially after the changes we made between FP3 and qualifying. But I had some bad luck in Q2 when I got caught out by a yellow flag on my quickest lap because a Sauber went off ahead of me in turn eight and I had to abort the lap. If I had managed a clean lap, I think I could probably have made Q3.
“I still feel positive for tomorrow and the field is very close. We know overtaking is possible here so I think we can expect a challenging and entertaining race.”
Force India team principal Vijay Mallya agreed with his drivers analysis of today’s events, and wants both of them to finish in the top ten tomorrow.
“We came to Canada believing that we had a car that was capable of qualifying in the top ten and we've demonstrated that today,” he said. “Had it not been for some bad luck on Nico's part during Q2, I'm convinced we would have had two cars in the top ten.
“Of course, qualifying is only half the battle and past experience has shown that the Circuit-Gilles Villeneuve is always a challenging track with a reputation for throwing up surprises. We will be ready to capitalise on any chances that come our way and determined to deliver another double points finish.”