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'Back to basics' pays dividends for di Resta
22 September 2012
Paul di Resta bounced back from his woes in final practice to secure a place on the third row today in qualifying for Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix.
The Sahara Force India pilot will now line up alongside current championship leader and Ferrari number one, Fernando Alonso, and having qualified in sixth place reckons 'big points' are possible.
Speaking after the session at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, the Scot was clearly a lot happier than he had been after FP3 and is now feeling bullish about the grand prix.
“I was very happy with the balance of the car yesterday, but struggled this afternoon during final practice and we seemed to lose our way,” he explained. “So we went back to basics and built up our speed again during qualifying and managed to deliver the laptime when it mattered during Q3 – in fact, it was my best lap of the weekend.
“So we're in a strong position for tomorrow and hopefully we can come away with some big points. We looked quite competitive yesterday during long runs so we will focus on the strategy tonight and make sure we make the right calls tomorrow with the tyres.”
Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg meanwhile found himself on the wrong side of the cusp in Q2 – just 0.032 seconds off Nico Rosberg in P10. He will start eleventh, although he conceded it was his own fault he didn't post a better time in the second session.
“We had a car capable of reaching Q3 today, so I feel disappointed to miss out on the top ten. I just didn't find a good rhythm in Q2 and my last lap was not good enough – I made a few small errors which cost me time and a place in Q3,” he confirmed.
“Now I need to focus on making the most of tomorrow and doing what we can with the strategy. Starting eleventh means I get a free choice on tyres and we've seen already that tyre performance and degradation will be a big factor in the race. I need to get a clean start, get through the opening lap and see what I can do.”
“Having shown strong pace during qualifying in Monza, it's especially satisfying to see the car also working well here in Singapore – a circuit with completely different characteristics,” summarised team principal Dr Vijay Mallya. “The speed has been in the car right from the start of free practice and we delivered when it mattered in qualifying.
“Paul's sixth place puts us where we need to be to score points and maybe even challenge for a podium. Nico, too, has been very quick here, but he didn't get a clean lap together in Q2. He's on the cusp of the top ten and I'm sure he will fight hard to move forward tomorrow.”
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