Paul Di Resta relieved to escape a grid penalty

Paul Di Resta crashes his Force India during the first lap at the Italian Grand Prix. Picture: AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati
Paul Di Resta crashes his Force India during the first lap at the Italian Grand Prix. Picture: AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati
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Paul Di Resta admitted to feeling “gutted” following what was a wretched Italian Grand Prix weekend for the West Lothian ace at Monza.

After crashing into a barrier in final practice on Saturday morning due to a brake failure with his Force India, Di Resta’s race lasted a matter of seconds.

Starting from 15th, and with nowhere to go as the field bunched in front of him approaching the first chicane, Di Resta collided with the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, breaking his left-front wheel. Summoned to see the stewards post-race to explain the incident, Di Resta was handed a reprimand when it could easily have been a grid penalty for the next race in Singapore.

Di Resta said: “It was one of those things. I lost sight of the corner because of the cars in front which bunched up more than I expected.

“I tried to take avoiding action, to place my car in the middle, but I couldn’t really go anywhere and I hit Grosjean’s car fairly hard.”

Suggesting he was fortunate not be hit hard by the stewards, Di Resta added: “In a sense, but I didn’t damage Romain’s car.

“He came into the (stewards’) meeting and said I never damaged it. It’s the first time I’ve ever done something like that. I obviously didn’t mean to do it, I wasn’t trying to overtake anyone.

“It was just the concertina effect I was unaware of. I couldn’t see what was happening two, three cars in front when they overtaking each other.

“Adrian (team-mate Sutil) and Grosjean were in front of me and they had full sight of it and were able to back out, but when I tried to stop it just wasn’t happening.”

After a run of four races without a point, Di Resta said: “I’m pretty gutted.

“It was a hard day on Saturday with the brake failure, ending up in the tyres before qualifying because of that, and then that happened in race.

“It has been one of those weekends to forget.

World champion Sebastian Vettel won for the third time at Monza, his sixth victory this season and 32nd overall in his career, extending his championship lead to 53 points over Fernando Alonso with 175 points available in the final seven races.

Great Britain’s Lewis Hamilton was ninth at Monza, the result realistically ending his world championship dream.