The nature of the captivating race was such that 20 seconds separated first-time race winner Nico Rosberg from runner-up Jenson Button, and then just 22 seconds covered the next ten cars down to Di Resta in 12th. It means after scoring points in the first two grands prix in Australia and Malaysia, Di Resta departed Shanghai empty-handed – but already with an eye on improvement next Sunday in Bahrain. “It was an extremely close race and although we were able to keep ourselves in the hunt, we were just missing the pace to catch people and make up any more ground,” Di Resta said. “It was a bit like the race in Australia where there were lots of cars running very close to each other and a lot of guys nursing their tyres. We made some good calls with the tyres and there were lots of different strategies playing out around us. So we go away from here knowing we are not too far away.”
Di Resta said after the previous race in Malaysia that any significant improvement in his car would be unlikely until after the start of the European campaign, with the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on May 13.
That would appear to be the case as deputy team principal Robert Fernley felt only via “luck or attrition” would the team score points.
“Paul was in the mix for most of the race, fighting to get in the top ten and ending up just under eight seconds from seventh place, and just 22 seconds off second place, which shows how competitive the field was,” Fernley said.