But so close was the competition that not only did he finish eight seconds off seventh, but his Sahara Force India VJM05 was just 22sec off second place.
“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,” said Di Resta, who celebrates his 26th birthday today.
“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.
“So we go away from here determined to get the car dialled in nicely for Bahrain next week.”
The race was won by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg who claimed his first grand prix victory in 111 race starts. It was also the first time Mercedes had won an F1 race since 1955.
The German, who started the race from pole position, led from start-to-finish. McLaren’s Jenson Button was second, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton third. Hamilton leads the championship by two points from Button, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, ninth in China, third, a further six points adrift.