Di Resta 4th fastestposted in F108 | 09 | 2012
SCOTS F1 ACE Paul di Resta delivered his career best qualifying performance when he posted the fourth-quickest time at Monza, behind polesitter Lewis Hamilton.
Such was Di Resta's raw pace that he lapped the Monza circuit, accepted as being the quickest track of the season, faster than world champs Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and current championship leader Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.
Unfortunately though, the 26-year-old from Bathgate will start the Italian Grand Prix from ninth. The Scot received a five-slot grid penalty for having the gearbox of his Sahara Force India changed.
"Yeh, it's tough to take, but the rules are the rules," Di Resta, whose fastest time of 1min 24.304secs was just 0.294s behind Hamilton's McLaren, said afterwards.
"As it turned out, by being fourth-quickest in the session, it's probably the day you'd have wanted that to take the penalty, given that I'm only back to ninth on the grid now.
"It's the first gearbox penalty I've had to take in F1. You just have to accept it. I'm sure we'll get another chance to start P4 with only three cars in front of me."
See more official photos of Paul di Resta in action at Monza
And Di Resta admitted his team had come to Monza with a completely different philosophy, after the disappointment of Spa last weekend when his car suffered a KERS failure immediately prior to the start of the race.
"We've come here with a different philosophy and delivered," he explained. "We trusted our instinct on the simulator and we've trusted what we wanted to do.
"We've dialled the car in more and more, and we showed this morning that we could run in the top three.
"To do our quickest lap in Q3, and just miss out on the top three, is a job very well done by the team."
Hamilton, meanwhile, will line up alongside his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button on the front row of the grid, with the Ferrari of Felipe Massa in third.
And Hamilton, linked this week with a switch to Mercedes GP for 2013, admitted he was surprised to get pole.
"Generally I didn't think that lap was anywhere near good enough," the former world champ said. "I was up a couple of tenths on my second lap, but I was in a train of cars so wasn't able to better my lap.
"Nonetheless I am happy, and happy for team: they're doing a fantastic job. They had great success in the last race with Jenson, and to have us both up here is what they deserve."
Italian Grand Prix, Monza — Qualifying:
1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.010s;
2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.133s +0.123s;
3. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m24.247s +0.237s;
4. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m24.304s +0.294s;
5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m24.540s +0.530s;
6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m24.802s +0.792s;
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.833s +0.823s;
8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m24.855s +0.845s;
9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.109s +1.099s;
10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.678s +1.668s;
Q2 cut-off time: 1m24.742s
11. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m24.809s +0.567s;
12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m24.820s +0.578s;
13. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.901s +0.659s;
14. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m25.042s +0.800s;
15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.312s +1.070s;
16. Jerome d'Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 1m25.408s +1.166s;
17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.441s +1.199s;
Q1 cut-off time: 1m25.834s
18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m26.382s +2.207s;
19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m26.887s +2.712s;
20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.039s +2.864s;
21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.073s +2.898s;
22. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m27.441s +3.266s;
23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m27.629s +3.454s;
24. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes.
F1 World Championship standings (Top 10 after 12 of 20 rounds):
1. Alonso 164;
2. Vettel 140;
3. Webber 132;
4. Raikkonen 131;
5. Hamilton 117;
6. Button 101;
7. Rosberg 77;
8. Grosjean 76;
9. Perez 47;
10. Schumacher 35.
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