Formula One: Di Resta pointless in face of handling problems in India

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Bathgate’s Formula One ace Paul di Resta heads to Abu Dhabi today after enduring a tough weekend in India. The 26-year-old failed to score any points after struggling with his Sahara Force India car.

“We just never got on top of problems which first surfaced in Free Practice on Friday,” said Di Resta, who finished 12th having started from 16th.

“We never got the car balanced the way I wanted, and the guys discovered a few issues in the data which I’m hopeful they’ll get sorted out before the Abu Dhabi race this weekend.”

Di Resta acknowledged the ill-handling problems undermined his confidence and performance in the Mercedes-powered car.

“Qualifying on Saturday was probably the worst I’ve driven the car all year,” he added. “I suppose when you lack confidence in the car, you just can’t get the performance out of it. Anything we did to address the problems really didn’t resolve my issues with the car.”

Double world champion Sebastian Vettel stormed to his fourth successive win of the year when he dominated the race and extended his lead in the title race to 13 points over Fernando Alonso, who powered his Ferrari to second.

Vettel, bidding to win the world championship for a third straight year and whose team-mate Mark Webber finished third, led from start to finish after starting from pole position.

Alonso, who had started from fifth, gradually worked his way past the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button who finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Vettel had no concerns about the problems which affected his car over the closing laps and led to a flurry of sparks from beneath his car. “I noticed the problem. I think it was when I got DRS (drag reduction system) from a backmarker close to the end of the race,” he said.

“I didn’t feel anything with the balance and on the other laps. We need to analyse the problem, but it didn’t cost us or slow us down.

“To think of the championship, this was a good step for us. We have seen for us how quickly things can change.

“Now we’re focusing on Abu Dhabi. There’s a lot more to come and we take things step by step.”