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'Smooth driving style' hampers di Resta at COTA

18 November 2012

Paul di Resta was once again left to sit out the final part of qualifying, after finishing in 13th place on the grid at the end of Q2 on Saturday in qualifying for the 2012 F1 United States Grand Prix.

With everyone struggling to find grip and to 'switch on' their tyres at the new Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas, the Scot speculated that his driving style might be contributing to his frustrations.

"I'm still struggling to get the tyres working," he admitted. "I have quite a smooth driving style so maybe that's why I haven't been able to switch them on as well as Nico, who has a more aggressive approach."

His team mate Nico Hulkenberg was certainly delighted with another strong qualifying performance this weekend.

"I'm happy to get another top ten result and it's been a good effort by the whole team, especially given where we were yesterday evening," he said, referring back to the Friday practice sessions that had seen Hulkenberg in particular having all sorts of problems staying on the brand new track.

Hulkenberg finished with the eighth fastest time in Q3, and felt there was more speed left in the Force India: "I was a little compromised by a Williams in the last couple of corners, so maybe there was a little bit more to come.

"Generally I'm quite happy and confident we can race strongly because our long-run pace looked competitive yesterday," he added, admitting there were lots of unknowns facing all the teams in their first visit to COTA. "There is no data from the past to help us, but we're in good shape and I'm really enjoying driving at this new track."

Hulkenberg's race campaign will be helped by being promoted up a position because of a gearbox penalty for Romain Grosjean's Lotus. That means Hulkenberg won't have to start from the dirty side of the grid in the steep run up to turn 1, avoiding a handicap that many in the paddock feel could cost drivers as much as two positions at the start.

Di Resta was also taking comfort in having avoided the wrong side of the track at COTA.

"The good news is that P13 is on the cleaner side of the grid so that should help me maximise the start," he said. "It's a long race but I'm not really sure what to expect tomorrow.

"The car is not quite where I want it to be so I just need to make the best of it and hope we can use the strategy to help us move forward," he added.


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