Di-light for Paul after fightback

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Bathgate’s Paul di Resta stormed through the field from 17th on the grid – 
after a disastrous qualifying session – to finish ninth in the Monaco Grand Prix, writes JIM McGILL.

The 27-year-old defied the tight street circuit to blast past a number of rivals.

“People say it’s almost impossible to overtake here, but I actually found myself able to overtake cars quite regularly,” said Di Resta.

“I swept past Felipe Massa (Ferrari) and Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) on the start-finish straight in basically identical manoeuvres.

“Towards the end of the race, I made a couple of strong moves on Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) trying to get eighth place but he defended well. In the end, to finish ninth is a major boost after the problems we suffered on Saturday.”

Those problems focused round his Sahara Force India engineers making the wrong call on tyres.

The Scot, who had been in the top ten throughout free practice and comfortably in the top three during the opening period of qualifying, saw his hopes wrecked by the team’s ill-judged call.

“Over the closing few minutes of the session, all the other teams and crews fitted new sets of intermediate tyres,” Di Resta explained. “That, of course, gave them more grip and allowed them to go faster. My crew believed we had enough pace left on the old tyres which were still on my car. It was the wrong decision.

“I struggled for grip at the rear all the way through my final lap and, when I crossed the finish line, the team had to tell me we’d only managed 17th. I was gutted. But we recovered well during the race, and opted to go aggressive on our tyre strategy.

“This time it worked. We made our only stop on lap ten, which meant I had to do the final 68 laps on one set of tyres.

“But, even at the end of the race we had pace and performance.”

The race was won my Nico Rosberg, who led from start-to-finish in his Mercedes. His win came 30 years after his dad, former world champ Keke Rosberg, won at Monaco.

Red Bull duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, finished second and third respectively. Rosberg’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton was fourth. The race was punctuated by a two safety car periods, and was stopped for 15 minutes while repairs were made to the protective barriers following a crash involving the Marussia of Max Chilton and Pastor Maldonado’s Williams.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was also taken to hospital after a heavy crash at Sainte Devote. The Brazilian was allowed home nursing a stiff neck.