Mercedes' Paul di Resta believes a lack of downforce is hurting he and his team's DTM C-Coupe challenger as the 'Three-Pointed star' once again struggled at the Hungaroring.
Last year's Force India F1 driver could only manage a lowly 18th place finish at the Hungaroing last weekend despite making a lightning start to place his HWA-run Mercedes into the top-ten and looking in contention to score points for a second race in a row.
But Di Resta said he encountered race ruining damage following contact with BMW's Martin Tomczyk on lap 5 as the Scot was embroiled in a pulsating multi-car battle on the fringes of the points-paying positions.
“There was contact with Tomczyk on lap 6 and something broke on the front of the steering and from there on we were losing about 1.2 seconds per lap,” Di Resta told crash.net.
“We decided on the off chance to stay out if some weather came in but I don't really know what would have come from that.
“But, probably, in hindsight we should have parked the car because with the steering, there was no way, especially in turn 5, 11 and 13 I was at a point where I actually couldn't turn the car.
“It was unfortunate because I right behind Robert after making a very good start and were very equal on pace at that point so maybe we could have been in the mix for points at the end depending on the way the tyres lasted at the end.”
Di Resta hinted that part of the current Mercedes issue is a lack of downforce compared to Audi and BMW, but admits pinpointing the cause of the problem remains a challenge at this moment in time.
“I think, without going into specifics, what happens generally when you've got more downforce you get more grip and with that you're mechanical grip works better,” the 2010 DTM champion explained.
“I think it's a combination of things and we're not as sorted as the other manufacturers are. Pinpointing it to one thing is very difficult for us at the moment because we could very quickly fix it but we're in a bit of a restructure currently and I think we're trying to evolve and work hard.
“I'm pretty confident the guys will get on top of it, whether its realistic to say that's going to happen this year I don't know but I've seen improvements with the car.”