Q&A with Paul di Resta

Date published: September 15 2011 - Editor

Paul di Resta reviews a satisfying Italian GP weekend, which saw the Force India record his fourth top-ten result of his debut season…

Paul di Resta reviews a satisfying Italian GP weekend, which saw the Force India record his fourth top-ten result of his debut season…

Q: Paul, Monza was your second strong finish in the points in three races. Were you pleased with the way things went?
PdR: “I think the main thing is that we came away with four points because we struggled in general with the car’s performance over the weekend. You can see that our philosophy has changed, and we were benefiting in other races beforehand, at the higher downforce tracks. Monza was difficult and we were fighting all the way. Some people didn’t finish, but we also took a very aggressive strategy on the tyres, got by some people, and scoredfour points. We overtook Sauber in the constructors’ championship. They were unlucky with mechanical failures, but you’ve got to be there at the end to take it.”

Q: Some of the cars ahead started on medium tyres, so it was important to get away well. In fact you gained from the first corner crash and had only Ferraris, Red Bulls, McLarens and a Mercedes ahead of you!
PdR: “I got by Senna at the start and then I was side-by-side with it all, and had to bale out to the left, as they didn’t leave me any room. I had no choice but to cut across the chicane.”

Q: How did things unfold from there?
PdR: “A couple of cars then got by us quite quickly because they had good straight line speed. As I said, we were fairly aggressive on strategy in stopping early – we were the first to stop, and we stopped the second time very early, and extended the last stint on the primes. I think it was the best race we could have had.”

Q: As we heard on the team radio, Senna was catching you on the soft tyres in the last stint. Did you have enough performance left in your mediums?
PdR: “We had a little bit in reserve and it was enough!”

Q: How difficult was it to arrive at a set-up with so much emphasis on Monza downforce levels and gearing and DRS now added to the mix?
PdR: “It comes down to how well you come prepared. We didn’t actually change that much over the weekend. You are where you are, to some extent. Some people went a bit more for race set-up, we went maybe a bit more for qualifying and for track position. We did change some things on Saturday morning and found a big benefit, and we improved our long run performance, so it worked out well in the end.”

Q: So overall a very satisfying weekend?
PdR: “Yes. Maybe we got a few breaks, but at Spa we got crashed into at the first corner, and nearly scored a point with a damaged car that was giving away nearly a second in performance.”

Source: Force India