Paul di Resta's Belgian Grand Prix weekend had almost as many highs and lows as the barometer in the Ardennes' local weather office, but sadly for the Scot the race ended in a gloomy depression when he was taken out of contention for a points finish by Williams' Pastor Maldonado after having battled hard to recover from an earlier poor start.

"I got a lot of wheel-spin at the start of the race and was down in about tenth place going into turn one, but during the first lap I managed to recover to seventh," said di Resta. "After the second pit stop I was racing closely with Adrian and there was a train of four cars battling as we went into the final chicane.

"Pastor went in deep and missed the apex so I tried to get the cut-back and was going around the outside of him," he recalled of the incident at the end of lap 29. "He then decided to try and enter the pit lane, which was impossible given his track position.

"As a result he hit me, which took the rear corner off my car," di Resta added, after reviewing TV footage of the entire back suspension of the Force India being ripped apart by what had looked like a relatively innocuous slow-speed coming together between the two cars.

"It's a real shame because the speed was quite strong today and I think there was definitely a point or two up for grabs," sighed di Resta, whose audacious call to start Q3 on intermediates had nearly seen him clinch a maiden pole position 24 hours previously.

"The incident with Maldonado hitting Paul was very disappointing because Paul was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Force India team principal Dr Vijay Mallya. "It certainly cost us the chance to get both cars in the points."

For his part Maldonado explained that he'd a good first stint to the race and picked up multiple positions, but then struggled after his first pit stop. That saw Maldonado stuck behind Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez as the the two Force Indias rapidly approached from the rear, making it a four-way battle for advantage going through the Bus Stop chicane.

"It was a difficult situation because I was fighting hard with the Sauber," he explained. The Venezuelan ended up running off the track at the exit of the chicane and then collided with Adrian Sutil as he came back on, which turned the Williams into the side of di Resta's car.

"I ran wide because Gutierrez pulled me a bit wider," he confirmed. "I was trying to recover the line and Sutil, as soon we were between the corners in the middle of the chicane, was crossing my line going from the outside to the inside. He touched my front wing, part of the front wing went under the car and I lost traction from the front of the car so there was nothing I could do.

"I let go of the steering wheel - it was quite hard, the impact with Adrian," he added. "It was nothing to do with di Resta, I was completely compromised by Sutil."

"I then had a collision with di Resta in the final corner when our lines crossed as I was entering the pits," he said. "I didn't see Di Resta on the outside as I turned toward the pitlane. I tried to brake to avoid the accident but it was too late.

Williams' chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar took up the story, revealing that there had been other factors contributing to the incident.

"We also had the added challenge of a radio problem with Pastor which began shortly before the second pitstop," he explained. "As he came in for his pitstop he was involved in an incident with Di Resta which resulted in him needing a new front wing. Pastor then received a 10-second stop-and-go penalty for the incident, which dropped him down the order."

"I was disappointed for the penalty," insisted Maldonado. "I think it was caused by the first touch with Sutil. I'm disappointed and I'm disappointed for di Resta."

Maldonado ended up down in 17th place while his team mate Valtteri Bottas had an incident free race but could only manage 15th place at the finish. At least di Resta's team mate was able to salvage some points for Force India by battling into ninth position by the chequered flag.

"An interesting and exciting race, and it's good to come away with two points," he said. "At the start I didn't make the best getaway and lost a few places, but after that I settled into the race and was able to get ahead of a few cars and move into the top ten.

"I always enjoy driving here at Spa and I had some exciting overtaking moves today, which felt very nice," he added. "The two-stop strategy was the best way to go and it worked out well because I think we achieved the maximum that was available to us. We are still in a close fight with McLaren so it was important to get back in the points today after a couple of tough races."


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