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Prioritizing race over qualifying pays off for Di Resta

Nov 4, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Race Getty Images

Paul di Resta said his team’s decision to concentrate on its race performance at the expense of qualifying was vindicated by their result in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Force India were the only team to successfully complete the race using a single pit stop for each of its cars. Di Resta claimed sixth and team mate Adrian Sutil was tenth.

“It’s a great feeling to finish sixth and make the one-stop strategy work,” said Di Resta.

“We had opted to set the car up more for the race and it really paid off today. There were times when we had to be very quick and times when we had to manage the pace and look after the tyres.”

“Towards the end of the race I was battling with Fernando [Alonso] and Lewis [Hamilton], but it was impossible to hold Fernando back because he was on much fresher soft tyres. Lewis was on the mediums so I just focussed on getting clean exits from the hairpin and the chicane leading onto the long straights, and was able to stay ahead.”

Force India have halted their slide in the last two races and have shored up their points buffer against a resurgent Sauber.

“The eight points are just what we needed and everybody in the team deserves credit for the big effort that has gone in this week,” added Di Resta. “That’s two strong weekends in a row and we will move to Austin determined to keep up the momentum.”

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