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Di Resta survives 'hectic' GP to score points
4 November 2012
Paul di Resta could be accused of understatement when he dubbed the F1 2012 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi as having been "quite a hectic race for me," but after the dust settled on the desert truck the Scot had the satisfaction of knowing he's walked away with two points after bttling through to finish in ninth place.
"I'm happy to come away with some points considering the way the race unfolded, said di Resta, who didn't even make it through the first corner of the race before he was caught up in a four-wide battle for the same patch of track, with his team mate Nico Hulkenberg, Williams' Bruno Senna and Sauber's Sergio Perez all demonstrating why four into one doesn't go.
I'm not sure what happened going into turn one," he admitted. "I had a great launch and moved ahead of Nico, but on the exit of the corner I realised immediately that I had a puncture."
Hulkenberg came out of the interest worse of all, with his car having to be hauled out of the run-off area by the track workers, leaving the German watching the rest of the race from pit lane.
"I made quite a bad start and had a poor run going into the first corner," admitted Hulkenberg. "Then I just got sandwiched by the cars around me go. I think there was my teammate, a Sauber and a Williams around me, and there was not enough space. I tried to back out of it, but it was too late. There was contact between the cars and that was my race over."
Di Resta meanwhile was bale to get back to the pits to have his puncture attended to, and then it was just a case of digging in and hoping for some lucky breaks. "[The puncture] cost me a lot of ground, but the first safety car brought me back into play," said di Resta.
"We were going to try and run to the finish without stopping again and I was up to fifth place," he revealed. "But when the safety car came out for a second time, the team called me in for fresh tyres."
After escaping unscathed from an incident involving Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean and Mark Webber, Di Resta pitted for fresh tyres and found some of his best race pace in the closing laps of the Yas Marina Circuit, which enabled him to pass both of the Toro Rossos to get back into a points position.
"But I just could not get ahead of Senna," he added. "He was in the DRS zone of Massa and I just could not make the move so I had to settle for ninth."
"Paul delivered the perfect recovery drive to pick up a couple of points," said Bob Fernley, Force India's deputy team principal. "He battled hard and was unlucky not to finish higher up the order.
"In terms of our fight in the constructors' championship, our two main rivals, Sauber and Williams, both scored well today," he added. "Sauber are 29 ahead and we have 22 points advantage over Williams. It's clear the battle will go down to the wire but we will continue fighting until the last lap in Brazil."
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