And the 26-year-old Scot, who started the 78-lap race from 14th on the grid, was forced to avoid the flying Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi at the first corner of the race.
“The first corner at Monaco is always congested, and this year was no exception,” Di Resta explained yesterday.
“Just as I was approaching the corner, Kobayashi’s Sauber went flying through the air from my right, but thankfully I was able to avoid it.
“It was a very tight squeeze, and it all happened in the blink of an eye, but once I got through the gap it was a case of just settling into my race routine.
“It’s a great result today and I’m very happy to make up so much ground on my starting position,” said Di Resta, who was cheered on by an army of family, friends and Scots.
“We went aggressive with the strategy, and I have to say the team really optimised it.
“The secret was managing the tyres and trying to find clean air when we could.
The car felt really good, much stronger than yesterday, and that allowed me to push when we needed to.
“Fortunately the rain held off at the end because that could have had a big impact on the end of the race.
“It’s great that we managed to get both cars in the points and we can celebrate tonight.”
Red Bull’s Mark Webber led the race from start-to-finish to become the sixth different driver to claim victory in the opening six grand prix, the first tim in F1 history.
The Aussie finished ahead of the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alosno in third. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel finiished in fourth place, while Britain Lewis Hamilton was fifth in his Mercedes.
The Spaniard leads the championship by three points from Webber, and his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel.