Paul di Resta lines up 17th on Monaco grid after Force India make wrong tyre call
"There's not much I can say," admits Scot after qualifying blunder
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 25/05/13 5:14pm
Qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix was a tale of woe for Paul Di Resta, who described it as the most "painful" Saturday performance of his F1 career after dropping out in session one.
The Force India driver lines up 17th on the starting grid, his lowest position since the 2011 Belgian GP, after falling foul of a bad tactical call made by his team.
Intermediates were the tyre of choice in the 20-minute opening session, which took place on a damp track. However, Force India failed to put a fresh set on the Scot's car during the closing moments.
The radio messages relayed from pit wall to driver and back on di Resta's slow-down lap revealed his frustration. "I apologise for that; that's a mess," his engineer admitted. "You're joking!" came the response.
Speaking later to Sky Sports F1's Natalie Pinkham, di Resta confirmed that there was more to his predicament than simple bad luck.
"I think it was a clear thing and there'll be a few people in the team kicking themselves. I'm not going to say too much because I'll say something I probably shouldn't," he said.
"There was a clear thing we should have done. All the other cars did it and we got left out to dry really. Probably the most painful experience I've ever had in qualifying.
"It's a difficult day ahead tomorrow, with not much hope that you can actually do something."
Underlining di Resta's frustration was the fact that he had been targeting a place in the top ten on a track where qualifying invariably plays a large part in determining the race result.
"(Qualifying) is a big part of it and today was the key to make sure we did something. We failed to achieve it when we were P7 this morning, we were very good yesterday," he added.
"We made big improvement. I think we were very strong in the wet; it was looking good. I'd have preferred it had stayed wet as we had the pace to definitely fight.
"We'll wait and see. There's not much I can say."