Di Resta pleased with tyre call despite missing pole

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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Paul di Resta claimed the credit for the call on tyres which almost helped him take pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The Force India driver gambled on not going out on slick tyres at the start of Q3, which every other driver did. It allowed him to set a lap early in the session was initially looked good enough for pole position.

However the track conditions later improved enough for the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers to beat his time. “It’s frustrating but it’s one of those things,” said Di Resta afterwards.

“I sat in the garage and I saw the screens again. The engineers and stuff we’re like ‘no, we’ve got to go out on mediums, everyone else is doing it’. And I went ‘No, look at it, everyone’s putting umbrellas up, let’s try something different.”

“And it was my call completely – I’m absolutely claiming it! We got out there in optimum track conditions – it was a bit wet in sector three – but at the same point had we been out at the end in the same conditions to everybody we wouldn’t have been where we are.”

Although he missed out on pole position, Di Resta believes the gamble still benefited him: “It’s definitely pushed us up the grid a bit. It was the right thing to do.”

“The car seems a lot stronger in the dry, a lot more comfortable in Q2. P8 we went through to Q3 in so that’s a bonus. At the same point we need to work on our wet conditions because it’s a handful but at the same point tomorrow could be dry and we’ll try and score some points.”

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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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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46 comments on “Di Resta pleased with tyre call despite missing pole”

  1. I genuinely think a podium is on the cards for Di Resta, and if indeed it was entirely his call the extreme kudos to him!

  2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    24th August 2013, 15:11

    Today reminded me of why I dislike Di Resta. He claims he made a ‘ballsy’ tyre call yet the guy from the team speaking to the BBC was pretty clear about it being the teams decision. He usually blames the team for failings yet when something goes right he’ll take all the credit.

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        24th August 2013, 15:19

        “And it was my call completely – I’m absolutely claiming it!”, who else is that desperate? No-one else on the grid would be that adamant that it was their decision (even when it probably wasn’t his anyway) and no-one had challenged it in the first place.

        1. Sounds like an insecure person indeed. It’s odd though, he was mighty in DTM – usually the graveyard of ex F1 drivers although he’s done it in reverse.

          I often wondered, talking of DTM, what would have happened if Paffet had got the drive over Hamilton at the shoot-out. Side by side? I reckon Paffet was ‘mightier’ than Di Resta. He must be miffed he didn’t get a seat.

    1. Couldn’t agree anymore. Paul sulks and blames his team for all his own shortcomings and regularly talks about how the top teams fancy him. When his team to step up to the plate, all the glory goes to Paul.

      I hope Paul never gets a top drive, and FI dump him for someone better soon

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        24th August 2013, 15:23

        I hope the seat goes to Hulkenberg if he doesn’t get a better offer. I am not a big fan of Sutil’s attitude either but at least he’s not a narcissist like Paul. The top teams don’t want him and if it wasn’t for the fact he was British he wouldn’t be half as popular here and there wouldn’t be any talk of him going to Mclaren either.

        1. When he said he wanted to drive for Ferrari I laughed so hard I couldn’t believe what was hearing! I mean a top team like Ferrari going for a rubbi… oh.. I forgot… they have Massa!!!!

          1. To be fair, Massa used to be a lot better.

      2. I honestly think his attitude would put top teams off in itself. I don’t think he is as good as others available anyway but his attitude could lead to his detriment. How must his team feel hearing him boasting that he made the call like that.

      3. Yeah … that’s why he constantly outperforms Sutil …

    2. Agreed here too. I particularly disliked him in that interview.
      Why didn’t he make the call to go out again at the end if he’s such a genius?

      1. DIR is in my top 3 of least favourite drivers at the moment along with Massa and Vettel.

      2. @john-h I would have loved a reporter asking him that question!! HAHA Well done, your post made me laugh!

    3. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      24th August 2013, 15:30

      I almost forgot, he still managed to blame the car for holding him back despite his (or more likely the teams) excellent decision making!

    4. Oh come on! Seriously what does di Resta have to do to get a compliment on here. He qualifies 5th in Spa and all that you read on here is abuse. Seriously if Bottas had done the same job and come out with the same quotes everyone would be going on about how amazingly talented he is, and so “cool” and “funny” as well.

      It’s just a sad reflection on our “celebrity” culture that @todfod @full-throttle-f1 @jackysteeg think they know someone’s personality based on a few media articles, and also think they have the right to judge and character assassinate on this basis.

      To all the whiners – today Di Resta has driven a Formula 1 car around Spa competing with the best drivers in the world – you’ve written some moaning, whiny comments on a website – who should be judging who here?

      1. @mhop I agree with you. No matter how you judge Di Resta’s comments, he did a great job today, outqualified his team mate and made all the right calls. In my opinion, one should show a bit of respect for all F1 drivers and not ridicule their achievements just because of some quotes. I believe that Di Resta is one of the best drivers on the grid and I prefer great F1 drivers, who praise themselves now and then over mediocre drivers, who thank the team in every sentence.

        1. If he could only respect his own team.

      2. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        24th August 2013, 18:45

        I don’t have a problem with him qualifying 5th, well done to him and his team for that. I have a problem with his bad attitude. From interviews he gives he comes across as very arrogant and he will blame the team for holding him back yet now he’s trying to steal all the credit for an achievement when it was a joint decision, that’s my problem with him, and other people’s too. Perhaps he is a nice man away from the circuit, I don’t know and I don’t care but I know that he has poor attitude which Bottas does not have and that is the issue.

      3. He did do very well, I’m not taking that away from him, he did do a wonderful job. But it’s very hard to be happy for anyone’s success when they gloat about it. And I’m not basing that on a “few media articles” – I saw the BBC interview and he did say all that.

      4. I’m sorry, it has nothing to do with a celebrity culture. I put myself in the place of a team member watching that interview, and all I think of is all of incidences the team has been blamed over these past few years and then I hear this.

        Sure he did well no one is denying that, but the article is about claimed the credit for the tyre call. Read the first sentence.

      5. @mhop

        How else are we to judge the personalities of drivers??? We see interviews and read into their quotes. I’m not denying Paul didn’t do a great job, I just find it sickening how he would make sure that the world was informed that it was his decision and not the team’s.

        Paul has given us enough insight into his personality every time a top team signs a new driver that isn’t him. He also has a knack for reminding us that he has beaten Vettel and that he would be WDC if he was in the right equipment. Obviously he makes sure we’re informed of when he was robbed of positions by his team (like in Australia this year)

        I think you need to get off your moral high horse, and see how fans judge their favourite drivers. Congratulations to you if you do not judge drivers by their statements and interviews… You are my hero.

    5. Well, after di Resta had made the decision, it became the decision of the team …

      1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
        24th August 2013, 20:03

        No, it was a combination of the pit wall and Di Resta himself according to the guy talking to the Beeb. He seems so desperate to claim that it was his call too which is bizarre to be quite honest.

    6. Paul Di Resta has a good resume but to me, he never seems to say anything that shows that he has much teamwork. The F1 community is small, so I’m guessing that insiders know who make the good calls even if the team is given credit to the press. I’ve read many articles where drivers are called robots who give canned responses, but in Di Resta’s case I don’t think it would be canned to share some credit/blame. Also, doesn’t the Di Resta management team think that to get a top drive he needs to be quick as well as popular? Few drivers are so quick that they can afford not to be a little bit likeable/personable at the same time. It could be that Force India is a contentious work environment and Di Resta has to stick up for himself, but even if that’s the case, it would probably be better if he handled it behind the scenes and in public put a better spin on it.

  3. Thanks heaven he didn’t get that Pole position, this driver doesn’t want to lose any opportunity to make the fans dislike him more & more. When it’s the team’s fault he blames them publicly and now it is him the genius, i mean how many times we have seen drivers like Button , Alonso or Raikkonen…. making decisive calls
    I just hope for Di Resta not to obtain anything in F1 until he changes his mentality

    1. Well said. I wonder what is he trying to achieve with this kind of comments. Surely he doesn’t think he is rising the team-spirit? :p

  4. Couldn’t agree with you more! I am so glad he didnt make it aferall, we wouldn’t have heard the last of it.

  5. How desperate are you, Paul?


  6. The engineers and stuff we’re like ‘no, we’ve got to go out
    “engineers and stuff”? Who does this guy think he is? Maybe the “engineers and stuff” should stop feeding him data mid-race tomorrow, let the glorified umbrella-stalking meteorologist behind the wheel figure out that it’s raining on the other side of the track and decide when to pit.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      25th August 2013, 11:26

      let the glorified umbrella-stalking meteorologist behind the wheel figure out that it’s raining

      Best. Comment. Ever.

  7. It’s such a shame that Di Resta didn’t manage to claim the pole position after all. He has had so much bad luck this year that it would only have been fair. Still, that is a promising result for Paul and Force India. Given the crazy weather conditions, a podium finish is still possible. More importantly, it now looks like the fight for the 5th position in the constructors’ championship is still open.

    1. @girts – It looks like di Resta has a dry set up (which makes achievement in qually more special) so I think his only hope is a dry/mostly dry race.

  8. “I sat in the garage and I saw the screens again. The engineers and stuff we’re like ‘no, we’ve got to go out on mediums, everyone else is doing it’. And I went ‘No, look at it, everyone’s putting umbrellas up, let’s try something different.”

    “And it was my call completely – I’m absolutely claiming it!,if i were Force india,i would break the gear box of that car and give him a 5 grid penalty

    1. @kenke No, you wouldn’t.

  9. Imagine this scenario @full-throttle-f1 , @collettdumbletonhall Had Paul Di Resta the legend made P1 , what would he have said :O ? confidence is one arrogance is another .

    1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      24th August 2013, 18:48

      Probably the same thing. I made a great call and despite the car that the team designed not being very good I still got pole position.

  10. A question for the learned (@keithcollantine ?): I often see people saying that 5th place is di Resta’s career best qualifying position but in Monza 2012 he qualified 4th. He did have to take a gearbox penalty but I thought that those penalties were effectively a race penalty and that his original qualifying performance is what should count in the history books. Am I wrong?

    1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
      24th August 2013, 22:53

      It doesn’t work like that unfortunately. Schumacher got pole in Monaco last year but it didn’t count as he had a penalty from the previous race. It’s a weird system but that’s how it works.

      1. @collettdumbletonhall I think that’s unfair.

    2. @mhop In my experience generally when people talk about qualifying achievements they are referring to starting position. So as @collettdumbletonhall alludes to Michael Schumacher’s record 68 pole positions does not include the one he would have had at Monaco in 2012 had he not had a penalty from the previous race (which was a subject of considerable and tedious debate at the time).

      Grid penalties are a fairly new innovation in F1 but perhaps a few years down the line we’ll be a bit more used to treating ‘qualifying position’ and ‘starting position’ as two separate things. This is done on the F1 Fanatic qualifying statistics page for this year:


  11. I think di Resta has found out that Jenson Button doesn’t have a contract for next year, and is angling for his seat.

    From the way di Resta has been talking about it, anyone who missed qualifying – like me – could be forgiven for thinking he qualified on the front row. I certainly did, until I checked the actual qualifying results. So his achievement isn’t really an achievement, because we have seen that he is capable of this kind if performance before, provided the conditions are right. But he’s talking it up like it’s a major shock to the world, and so I can only conclude that he is eyeing off a seat at a team like McLaren.

    1. They didn’t give him a seat last year, so I can’t see they’d give him one this year, although if they have the money via Perez that could change. McLaren would want someone proven I think – like Raikkonen.

      1. @baron – Or, you know, Button. The driver they already have.

        No, I think this is more a case of di Resta getting carried away. Again. I seriously doubt he was even considered at McLaren last year. If people on the internet have noticed that he under-performs and over-sells himself, then surely teams have noticed it, too. His twin habits of explaining away his bad performances as being bad luck, tyres, the wea

        1. His twin habits of explaining away his bad performances as being bad luck and refusing to criticise the team or the car – even if it is just to give feedback on the set-up, as was the case in Austin last year – probably haven’t gone unnoticed, either.

          Paul di Resta is the only driver who can make “I nearly got pole, but finished fifth” sound like “I got pole!”.

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