Paul di Resta was well and truly thrown in at the deep end this weekend, with the decision to sub him in for Felipe Massa coming what seemed like just moments away from the start of qualifying. Whilst he had to retire from the race, the Scotsman did himself proud, showing that he has serious talent.
Racing at such short notice with boots that were reportedly ‘too small for him’, di Resta displayed respectable pace in the Williams Martini Racing car, even though he hadn’t raced in Formula 1 since 2013. He was running in eighteenth position until he had to retire the car.
“It was obviously a very exciting day, but it was a very difficult day as well. Jumping straight in the car with no experience of the different tyre compounds or running on high fuel. I wasn’t sure what to expect so I went in with an open mind.”
di Resta did have one run in with Kimi Raikkonen, who, whilst trying to lap him, commented that he should ‘go back to reporting’.
“You have to be very aware of the space around you, and how much downforce you lose when there’s traffic around you. So I was cautious and just wanted to keep my nose clean.”
“We went a different way on strategy, but the biggest thing for me was just gaining the confidence as the runs went on and I was feeling more comfortable with the car. It would have been nice to finish, without the oil leak. But overall I’m not too dissatisfied with where I was given how little running I’d had.“