Despite missing out on his maiden F1 podium result, Paul di Resta was still pretty chipper after the 2013 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Scot had been right in the thick of it in virtually all the sessions and in the end made the most of starting fifth on the grid to run competitively throughout the 57-lap race at the Sakhir circuit. However in the closing stages he was powerless to hold off a hard charging Romain Grosjean
and was easily passed by the Frenchman with just five laps to go.
Still fourth equalled his previous best F1 finish and speaking at the end he reckoned he had got the absolute maximum out of his Force India
“It's great to round off the fly-away races with a fourth place and a race that was probably my strongest Grand Prix,” di Resta remarked. “The podium was very close, but with our strategy we were always going to be vulnerable at the end of the race – especially to Grosjean who had two new sets of medium tyres.
“I had a good start to the race, a strong opening stint and we showed our true speed today, but ultimately fourth place was the maximum that was possible.
“We will get on the podium one day, hopefully soon, but for now we can be very happy with the points we've scored today. A big thanks to the whole team because it's been an excellent weekend and I feel we managed to get 100 per cent out of the car.”
Team-mate Adrian Sutil
meanwhile had a frustrating afternoon and was unable to make the most of starting sixth after he picked up a puncture on the opening lap – a result of contact with Felipe Massa. He eventually finished a lowly 13th.
“It's disappointing to get a puncture in a race that looked so promising. My start was clean and I was racing Massa going into turn four. I was on the outside; I gave him a lot of space but he was off-line and made contact with my front right tyre. I don't know what he did exactly but I had a puncture immediately,” Sutil lamented.
“I had to pit and lost a lot of time, which ended my chance of scoring points. I had amazing pace in the race and I just kept my head down to try and recover something from the race, but I had lost too much with the puncture. But I'm happy for the team and fourth place for Paul gives us more points. There are many more races to come so we will keep focused and next time score points with both cars.”
“A tremendous job by the team," added Force India's team principal and managing director, Dr Vijay Mallya, "and a wonderful drive by Paul saw us come within a whisker of the podium today. Although we missed out on third, the twelve points scored keep us up in fifth place in the Championship and give us every reason to be optimistic for the coming races.
"Of course, we could have achieved so much more had Adrian not picked up a puncture on lap one. The contact with Massa proved very costly because Adrian's race pace was on a par with Paul's and we should have brought both cars home in the points. We will focus on the positives though, and enjoy this fourth place, which has confirmed the pace of the car and shown once again that we can race up at the front and beat some of the top teams.”