• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Di Resta focused on race pace

ESPNF1 Staff
November 12, 2011 « Schumacher happy despite gap to Rosberg | Perfect race will yield podium - Alonso »
Paul di Resta said he struggled with the balance of his car the longer qualifying went on © Sutton Images
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Paul di Resta says he has set his car up for race pace in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and is in a better position than team-mate Adrian Sutil.

Di Resta and Sutil both made it through in to the final part of qualifying but while Sutil ended up ninth after trying to beat Michael Schumacher, di Resta saved his tyres and did not complete a timed lap. Di Resta told the BBC that keeping his focus on Sunday had compromised his qualifying pace, which had dropped away as the track cooled.

"(The pace) was quite good in Q1 I must say, the lap on the softs at the end was very good up until the last two corners and then I made a mistake just trying to improve upon this morning," di Resta said. "And then in Q2 we made a small correction on the aero balance and it probably wasn't the right way and I just struggled a little bit for balance which made the laps quite difficult. I just didn't maximise them enough, there was a good bit in there; it should have been a bit better.

"But I suppose the main focus was getting in to Q3 and putting ourselves in to a strong position for tomorrow and having a good tyre strategy to try and put ourselves in that position. We'll have to wait and see. We're in a better position than Adrian in terms of tyre life, but it's a long race tomorrow. On our numbers, hopefully we get them right and we can focus on what we want to achieve and that's the way we went with the car set-up so there's a bit of a compromise in there for qualifying speed."

Di Resta also said he felt that there would be a split in strategies during the race because the medium tyre gave good performance on long runs.

"I think tyres are lasting quite long compared to normal. Also the medium tyre - which is the harder one of the two compounds - seems to have a good race performance, so it's whether people choose it at the beginning or the end. I'm sure you'll see a bit of a split just to cover safety cars and stuff. But in terms of where it goes it's hard to say, because if you get a big track improvement then you'll see very limited pit stops."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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