Di Resta: I’ve got a sore shoulder

Paul Di Resta

Paul di Resta was the unsung hero of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend after being called up an hour before qualifying, to replace unwell Felipe Massa at Williams, to drive a car he had never sat in let alone driven.

The Scot gave a solid account of himself in qualifying, getting well within the 107% qualifying time required to make it on to the grid and was six tenths down on the team’s regular driver Lance Stroll. He did four flying laps in that afternoon and sat in the car for 15 minutes.

In the race 24 hours later it was another leap into the unknown, never having launched off the grid in the new generation cars he made a solid start and was up to 16th at one stage, but on lap 60 of the 70 lap race he had to retire the car.

Speaking after his return to the cockpit following a four year lay-off from F1, Di Resta said,”I’ve got a sore shoulder but that’s about it. That’s to be expected after your first time in a car. It wasn’t quite as bad as I thought…maybe I should have driven a bit faster.”

“I hadn’t done a start until half an hour before the race and I dumped the clutch too much. You’ve got to get it into a certain window. In the end I was very cautious anyway as your spatial awareness of these cars and how wide they are is very hard.”

“I just wanted to make sure I got through the first lap and used every moment I had in that car to my best. We were slightly unfortunate before the pit stop that I got lapped.”

“It very much comes down to being around 19 different guys all fighting for the same bit of road, I didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t driven a car with that much downforce for such a long time that you get that much wake off it so you find yourself locking wheels. I didn’t want to get too caught up with that.

“I’d have much rather got to the end of the race but we had a small oil leak and as it was a fresh engine for the weekend they didn’t want to be taking up engine penalties just because of that,” added Di Resta at the end of his 59th grand prix start.