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.