Paul di Resta has said he is feeling confident for the German Grand Prix and the second half of the season, despite an 'extremely disappointing' end to his first British Grand Prix.
The F1 2011 rookie, who had qualified in a career-best sixth on the Saturday, was running seventh until his second pit stop. However his hopes of taking points were dashed by confusion in the Force India pit that saw team-mate Adrian Sutil's tyres waiting for him. That incident cost him more than 25 seconds and he then lost even more time when he clashed with Sebastien Buemi in Brooklands. In the end he finished 15th – one lap down.
“It's extremely disappointing to end my first British Grand Prix in P15. I had a good first part of the race; we seemed quite competitive and I was able to hold on to Jenson [Button] as I concentrated on looking after my intermediate tyres,” di Resta said. “I think we made the switch to dry tyres at the right moment and we were running well.
“Then I got a call to come into the pits again, but when I got there the team were expecting Adrian, so there was obviously some confusion. It cost me quite a lot of time because the boys had to run back in the garage and fetch my tyres. That cost us about 25 seconds, which pretty much ended my chances.
“So it's a frustrating race, but I think we should stay positive because the car has shown well this weekend and that gives me confidence going into the second part of the season,” he added.
Team-mate Adrian Sutil meanwhile also had a poor afternoon and he eventually finished eleventh in the sister car.
“After such a promising start to the race it's disappointing to come away empty-handed. My start was okay and things looked good in the first few laps,” said the German.
“The conditions were tricky, with a lot of damp areas in the second sector, but I felt quite confident and was able to run in the points. I think we made the right decision with the strategy to stop three times, but in the end I don't think we had the pace to hold on for points today.”
“Today simply was not our day,” summarised chairman and team principal, Dr Vijay Mallya. “Despite the promise we showed yesterday, the events of the race compromised our strategies and made it very difficult to score points.
“To begin with things looked very good. Both Paul and Adrian were running strongly in the points and the car continued to perform well. Unfortunately things started to go wrong when we made a serious error on the pit wall. We called Paul in for his second scheduled stop, but at the same time Adrian came on the radio reporting a puncture. We tried to get Paul to stay out so that we could service Adrian's car, but it was too late and Paul was already in the pit lane. That led to some confusion over the tyres being ready for Paul when he arrived at the garage and cost him a great deal of time.
“As for Adrian, he drove well, but lost out to the two-stoppers in the closing laps. It's clear we need to regroup and come back stronger in Germany so that we can convert the pace of the car into points.”