Bathgate’s Paul di Resta returned to point-scoring form when he finished ninth in an incident-packed Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix, but the 26-year-old, whose Sahara Force India car suffered a puncture at the first corner of the race, admitted he felt slightly disappointed.
“It could have been even better,” said Di Resta, who started the race from 12th on the grid.
“I was running fifth, and wasn’t planning another pitstop, when the safety car came out with about 25 laps remaining because of a crash.
“Immediately the team called me into the pits, and when I rejoined the race I was back in 11th place. Soon though I was back up to ninth, but then I got stuck behind the Williams of Bruno Senna, who was struggling to pass the Ferrari of Felipe Massa. Every time I tried to get past them, I got stuck on the car’s rev limiter and there was just no way I could get the car to go any faster.
“I know if I’d managed to get past the two of them, and up to seventh, I’d have been able to chase down probably at least another one, perhaps two cars, but it was a really enjoyable race, and it was fantastic to again have a car which was capable of mixing it at the front of the race.”
The race was won by former world champ Kimi Raikkonen. It was the Finn’s first F1 win since his return at the start of the season after two years in the World Rally Championship.
The victory was Raikkonen’s first since Belgium in 2009, the first for his Enstone-based team since the 2008 Japanese GP, and the first for a Lotus-branded squad since the 1987 United States GP.
In a dramatic race, world championship leader Sebastian Vettel finished third, just behind the Pirelli-shod Ferrari of title rival Fernando Alonso, despite having started the race from the pit lane.
With two races to go, it means the Red Bull racer leads the Spaniard by just ten points. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton had been comfortably leading the race before his car retired with engine failure on lap 20.