While double world champion Sebastien Vettel won his first grand prix of the year for Red Bull, Bathgate’s Paul di Resta delivered a flawless drive at the dusty Sakhir circuit to finish sixth in the Bahrain Grand Prix, writes JIM McGILL.
The result equalled his best Formula One finish – the 26-year-old Scot was also sixth in Singapore last year.
Starting from tenth on the grid, Di Resta’s careful management of his Pirelli tyres allowed his Sahara Force India team to maximise a two-stop strategy, while the rest of the leading contenders did a three-stop race.
“The result is massive for us,” a delighted Di Resta said. “The team did an amazing job all weekend, the strategy came together and the pit-stops were perfect. We knew it would be a big ask to make only two stops and it was a close-run thing at the end because my tyres completely went away on the final lap.
“I had Fernando Alonso very close behind me, but I managed to stay ahead.
“The car has been awesome, so we go away from here as a very happy team with a few weeks to reflect on things and determined to arrive in Barcelona in fighting form.”
And Di Resta’s impeccable drive, which also saw him overtake both the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and the Sauber of Sergio Perez at the same time on the inside of the right-hander at Turn Four, was praised by team boss Robert Fernley, who said: “Once again, Paul drove a superb race.”