Penalty cost us chance to beat Mercedes – Di Resta

2012 Italian Grand Prix

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Paul di Resta says he could have beaten the Mercedes in the Italian Grand Prix had it not been for his qualifying penalty.

Di Resta was moved back from fourth to ninth on the grid following a gearbox change. He said: “Had we started fourth I think we would have been able to beat the Mercedes, because we would obviously have been further up.

“But unfortunately we were on that zone where their two-stop just beat us at the end. Our race pace on the hard was quite reasonable, the Mercedes at the end just had that second pit stop, and they had bit more speed than us.”

Di Resta lost two places early in the race, the first to the flying Sergio Perez: “His car was in a different world by the looks of it – how quick he was.

“For whatever reason, it looks like he had a completely different approach to [Kamui] Kobayashi . I was stuck behind Kamui and was quicker than him. Whereas Perez got past the both of us and disappeared! I think one went for qualifying speed and one went for the race, and we saw what the benefits were for the race option.”

He was also passed by Mark Webber on lap 12: “We lost KERS for one lap, but unfortunately it was the lap Mark was behind me, and he got by me.

“It was quite a sudden drop out, but thankfully we managed to get it back quickly, and it ran smoothly from there on.”

Di Resta finished the race eighth behind Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.

2012 Italian Grand Prix

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Image © Sahara Force India F1 Team

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Penalty cost us chance to beat Mercedes – Di Resta”

  1. He was lucky not to get a penalty for running Senna off the road

    1. Indeed, maybe he didn’t deserve to beat the Mercedes.

    2. Agreed it was quite marginal with Senna, but if you look at the onboard pictures you’ll see that di Resta was still in front when he moved over. Senna had no part of his car alongside and the incident was caused because he actually banged in to the back of di Resta’s rear right wheel with his front left! It’s totally different to the Vettel incident where Alonso was 2/3rds alongside when he was run out of track.

    3. No he wasn’t he did nothing wrong, Senna made the wrong move.

    4. Senna should stick to keeping his hands on a steering wheel might gain couple tenths.

  2. Is it just me, or is Paul di Resta really good at explaining away everything that goes wrong as a series of unfortunate but unavoidable incidents born out of fate conspiring to rob him and the team of the success they want/need/deserve/crave, rather than stepping up to the plate and saying “this is what went wrong, and this is what we have to do to fix it”?

    1. Have you seen The F1 Slate? diResta’s comments are often amusing on it.

      1. @duncanmonza I used to check that website regularly some time ago but soon it got boring. The author(s) totally lacked creativity, the same jokes and even exact phrases were used again and again. So I lost interest. It’s not that easy to write a good F1 satire I guess.

    2. It’s just you.

    3. @prisoner-monkeys agreed. He always gets away by blaming the situation or the team’s strategy

    4. Ive been saying this for a while but for a guy who had manager problems he seems to talk like on, he is right about everything he says but it’s not the answer you might expect from an F1 driver.

  3. Not the best fortnight for him

  4. If they hadn’t replaced the gearbox, it would’ve either broken down in quali and thus FI would’ve locked out the back row or broken down during the race and he would’ve scored nul points.

  5. If what di Resta is saying about Saubers is true, then Perez had mega, mega weekend. He was only 2 tenths off Kobayashi in quali and even then he lost some time because he was too greedy in following Senna and using tow from Williams, which resulted in losing some downforce in corners. But then in race Kobayashi stood still, while Perez, as di Resta said, went on a rampage. Different strategies or set-ups, 40 seconds of difference between Sauber drivers at the finish is quite a trashing.

    1. As Jaime Alguesuari say on the BBC website:
      “The thing I don’t understand is how Sergio Perez and Sauber had such strong race pace…”

      Would have been interesting to see if any of the other leaders could have similarly benefitted from running the prime for the first stint, but as it is we’ll just have to wonder.

      1. If they’d change the stupid tyre rules we wouldn’t have to wonder! Argh, other than the high noses, which really don’t bother me, I’d like to see the qualifying tyre rule for the Q3 runners abandoned for next season.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          11th September 2012, 22:30

          @adam-tate First, we need see if the drivers starting outside the top ten really did have an advantage with a free tire choice. I noticed that when qualifying was rained out in Silverstone and Hockenheim, almost all of the top ten still used options, even when they weren’t restricted to do so.

          So, we need to look at the drivers starting on used tires vs those starting on new tires, to see if the drivers with fresh tires really had an advantage at the start and for the whole race.

          1. It gave Perez an advantage for sure. Had he started on the medium like the cars in front of him I doubt he would have been able to break into the top 5.

  6. Pretty unlucky that his KERS failed just as Webber was behind him, bad timing!

    1. Well if he felt that his car was competent enough then he would have got it back with the KERS on. The fact of the matter with all the stacks added up….he should be feeling lucky he ended up at 8th spot! If it weren’t for Vettel and Webber going out, he would not even have got those 4 points! Well i wish him luck for the upcoming races and to his team too!

  7. the problem for di Resta is the car’s ability to keep it’s tires go the distance like Saubers and sometimes they lack creativity at the pit strategy level. he should have opted for 2 stops at Monza.

  8. Yeah, since he’s playing woulda coulda shoulda, maybe if NR hadn’t found himself lacking grip and falling back for his first stint, yet still ended up setting several purple times and coming within a few seconds of MS in the end, NR would have practically won the race, or certainly finished ahead of MS and others. And what would di Resta (and the Mercs) have done if the Red Bulls had survived the race…anyhoo…point is taken no doubt. Not to mention, PdR has no doubt benefitted in other races from others having gearbox (or other) penalties that set them back from their original quali spots, so I think with this type of thing it all averages out in the end. You win some, you lose some, and hindsight is 20/20.

  9. Sauber faster than Ferrari and Force India faster than Mercedes… shame for the constructors, shame =/

  10. Could he though? He started 9th and finished there. His progress through the race wasnt all that great. The car was evidently good in qualifying trim (as per tradition for Force India at high speed, low downforce tracks over last few years). This was almost gifted to him in a way too, with Button, Vettel and Webber retiring.

    I think Mercedes had the measure on him at Monza, and I doubt he’d have kept Kimi, Perez and Fernando behind him for long either.

    Paul needs to start accepting the blame when he’s at fault and pushing the team forward, rather than rueing what could have been and blaming bad luck. People fancy him going to Mclaren, Mercedes or Ferrari in the future, but I’m sorry, I disagree. Paul hasnt really impressed since joining F1.

    1. Also, if Paul was quicker than Kobayashi, why did he not attempt an overtake with KERS (even if it was semi-functional) and DRS? Not buying it.

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