F1: Paul Di Resta has busy day in Spain

Paul Di Resta. Picture: PA
Paul Di Resta. Picture: PA
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Bathgate’s Paul di Resta maintained his strong start to the 2013 Formula One season with a seventh-place finish in the Spanish Grand Prix.

But the 27-year-old Scot, who started tenth on the grid in his Mercedes-powered 
Sahara Force India, admitted afterwards that even he was confused by the number of pitstops. “It was a pretty manic race in many ways,” Di Resta smiled afterwards. “It was definitely very busy in the cockpit.

“Before the start of the race we’d planned a three-stop strategy, but in the end we did a four-stopper. After the third stop, I had to come on the radio and ask the guys, ‘just exactly what is our strategy here?’

“They confirmed we were doing a four-stopper and it was a case of me getting my head down and doing the lap times.

“I said before the start of the race that seventh would be a fantastic result for us, so we’ll happily take it.

“It continues the fine form we’ve established this season, and is more crucial world championship points in the bank. Next up is my ‘home’ race round the streets of Monaco. It’s always a brilliant, but demanding week, and I can’t wait.

“Hopefully we can make an even better job and continue our run of scoring points.”

Local hero Fernando Alonso sent the thousands of Spanish fans home ecstatic after he powered his Ferrari to victory.

The double world champ closed the gap on championship leader Sebastian Vettel to 17 points after the Red Bull driver could only finish fourth.

Alonso dominated the race after an audacious double-overtaking manoeuvre when he swept round the outside of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton at Turn 3 on the opening lap.

“This year we have a package that is still not the fastest, but we are working on it,” Alonso, who backed off towards the end to eventually finish 9.338secs ahead of Raikkonen’s Lotus, said.

Raikkonen meanwhile, now just four points adrift of Vettel, admitted he wasn’t happy with his second place.

“It wasn’t the win, and we are only happy with the win,” he said, “but in terms of the championship, with Vettel we are close and Fernando has caught me, but we are still in the hunt and hopefully we can try and win a bit more.”

Brazilian Felipe Massa made it two Ferraris on the podium when he finished third.

But there was misery for the Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. 
After starting from the front two spots on the grid, they eventually struggled to finish sixth and 12th respectively as their cars battled with the 
Pirelli tyres.