BATHGATE’S Paul di Resta delivered the best race and result of his rookie Formula One season when he powered his Force India VJM04 to sixth under the intensity of the streetlights of the Singapore Grand Prix.
The 25-year-old Scot drove a flawless race on his debut in what is accepted as being the toughest, and most gruelling, grand prix of the season for drivers.
Naturally Di Resta, whose team-mate Adrian Sutil finished eighth to give Force India its first double-points finish of the season, was delighted with his performance.
“I’m very happy,” Di Resta said after the race, which was won by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who heads to Japan needing just one more point to clinch his second successive championship.
“It was quite a long race. We were looking very strong before the Safety Car came out. We had chosen to go on the soft Prime tyres from the start, extend the run, then switch to the super-soft option; we did that and we were still very quick.
“Then the Safety Car came out and I thought it ‘this is going to cause a bit of a problem’, but when we changed back on to the soft Prime and the car was excellent. We could just really manage the pace in relation to [Nico] Rosberg, and to be honest there was still plenty left.
“After that it was then jet a case of bringing the car home with the tyres in order and saving the fuel, just to be on the safe side.
“Is it my best race so far this year? Definitely. But I think the main thing is we came here with an upgrade package which has enabled us to improve our performance in the race, plus it’s allowed us to gain tyre life.
“This result is a major credit to the team. We all worked very hard this weekend to achieve the results and points we scored.
“It’s also allowed us to open a bigger gap, 12 points, over Sauber in the race for sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship. Now we head to Japan and Korea determined to maintain this level of performance.”
Vettel, who finished ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button and third-placed Mark Webber in the second Red Bull, admitted he was content to wait another fortnight before clinching the title.
“It’s a fantastic result,” the German, who racked up his ninth win of an utterly dominant season, said. “I really love the track, I love the challenge, I think it is the longest race.
“The car was fantastic. Engine wise everything was fantastic, we were in a comfortable position for most of the race, which is handy around here.
“For the championship it looks like we have another chance at the next race.”