Force India's Paul Di Resta happy after 'difficult' week in Bahrain

Paul Di Resta

Paul di Resta hailed an "amazing job" by his Force India team after a testing week ended with the Scot claiming sixth place in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Four team members were caught in the middle of clashes between protestors and riot police in the run-up to a race marred by political controversy.

But Force India's week ended on a high after Di Resta impressed in a race won by world champion Sebastian Vettel.

"We will go away from what was a difficult Bahrain very happy," he said.

"It was an amazing job by the whole team - strategy, pit stops and the combination."

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley withdrew his team from the second practice in Bahrain, despite pressure from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to run, after a petrol bomb landed close to a car carrying four of their staff.

The team's mechanics were caught between protestors throwing the missiles and riot police firing tear gas as they returned to the capital Manama from the track on Wednesday.

Force India chose to miss Friday's second practice session so they could return to their hotel before dark.

However, they managed to put the off-track drama to one side as Di Resta impressed with a studied drive in Sunday's race.

The Scot, whose two pit stop strategy contrasted to the three employed by the rest of the main contenders, was fifth going into the final 10 laps but was helpless to hold off Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, who was on fresher tyres in the closing laps.

However, he did defend his place from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was homing in on the final lap.

"You're always going to find it difficult and run out at one point," said Di Resta. "Fortunately it was the last lap when we ran out of them completely.

"I tried to keep Nico behind but I was losing time. So giving up the position was probably the right thing to do because Fernando was showing to be very strong.

"But we played our cards right in qualifying by saving a set of tyres. We could have gone out there and been the heroes in qualifying, but Sunday is when it counts and the points you grab up."

He added: "The balance of the race was awesome and we are very happy people. We will have a few weeks to reflect on it and then back to Barcelona.

"We need to kickstart our season - there are a lot of people around us scoring some big points and we need to keep this good form we finished Sunday on."

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