The 26-year-old from Bathgate was forced to start yesterday’s race from 14th on the grid after his final flying lap in Saturday’s qualifying was hampered by slower-moving cars.
“On my last flying laps at the end of the second qualifying session, my times through the first two sectors were faster than my team-mate Nico Hulkenberg who had already made it into the Top 10 shootout,” Di Resta explained.
“But through the last couple of corners, I hit traffic which was slowing down and the delay cost me a tenth here and there.
“In normal everyday life, such margins don’t mean much: they’re over in the blink of an eye. But in Formula One, they’re crucial.
“Instead of getting into the top 10, I qualified 14th, and that ended up hurting us quite badly in the race.”
Di Resta’s race, which had started promisingly when he’d moved up to ninth midway through the opening lap, rapidly unfurled and he finished 12th.
“We’d expected the supersoft to be a better race tyre, and so we saved it for the second stint,” he continued.
“As it happened, the soft tyres didn’t last long enough at the start of the race and when I switched to the supersofts they started graining straight away.
“So we were not on the ideal strategy and that impacted the whole race. After that I was always struggling with traffic and couldn’t make any progress.”
Sebastian Vettel took his fourth win of the year and third in succession. Team-mate Mark Webber made it a Red Bull 1-2. Vettel has a six-point lead in the championship, ahead of Fernando Alonso, who finished third.