Britain's Paul di Resta served up the best result of his young career so far, with a fourth place in the 2012 F1 Singapore Grand Prix
as Force India
look to build momentum for the closing rounds of F1 2012.
Di Resta kept his head as all around him various problems afflicted other front runners. But it wasn't a case of just benefitting from the misfortunes of others: the Force India
driver's pace around the Marina Bay
circuit meant he was within four seconds away from Fernando Alonso's Ferrari
- and a podium finish - as the race's time limit expired.
"Fourth place is a great team result and my best day in F1 so far," said the delighted 26-year-old Scot. "We qualified well, raced hard and took advantage of a few retirements, but in the final stint we certainly showed that we had great pace.
"I don't think the safety car really impacted on my race too much and I was able to make clean restarts each time and hold my position," he continued. "I was very close to Alonso in the closing stages, but was just missing the pace to really challenge him for the podium.
"This result is just what we needed for our fight in the championship and I want to say a massive 'thank you' to the boys in the garage who put in a huge effort, as always," he said.
"A superb day for the team and especially for Paul who should be very proud of his performance," said Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India's team principal and managing director It was a very mature drive and he made the most of the great pace we had in the car.
Perhaps adding to di Resta's delight with how the day had gone was the fact that his strong finish in Singapore emphatically brings to an end a series of races in which team mate Nico Hulkenberg
has had a small but definite edge.
Hulkenberg did not have such a good time of it in Singapore and missed out on the points despite promising early running, after he tangled with Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber, suffered a puncture and eventually finished down in 14th.
"It was a pretty rough race for me," he admitted. "The strategy we chose by starting on the soft tyres could have paid off, but I was stuck behind Kimi and Michael early on and couldn't really show the true pace of the car.
"The timing of the safety cars was not ideal and the second one really hurt my race. So overall things have not really fallen into place for me this weekend, but there are a lot of positives to take with the pace of the car and the result for Paul."By Philip Barclay