Di Resta defends teams' decision not to run in Q3

Paul di Resta thinks it is wrong that teams like Force India are being criticised for electing not to run in Q3 sometimes because of tactical reasons

Di Resta defends teams' decision not to run in Q3

Due to the way the tyre regulations are at the moment, it is sometimes advantageous for outfits that get through to Q3 to not actually set a time - because it ensures they have fresher tyres for the race, as well as being free to choose which compound they start on.

Big teams like Ferrari, as well as tyre manufacturer Pirelli, have been critical of such tactics - because they believe it is robbing fans of a better spectacle on Saturday afternoons.

However, di Resta has jumped to the defence of teams that do it - and thinks ultimately too much has been made of the issue.

"Take the Japanese GP for example - Force India I believe did 13 laps in qualifying, and Red Bull Racing did eight and were on pole," he said when asked by AUTOSPORT for his views on the Q3 controversy.

"Now, the number of laps tells you what we need to do to get through. The quick teams do not need to use a set of soft tyres to get through Q1. To me, that is the advantage they have got, although they are obviously doing a better job with the car. So already there is a compromise you have got from the start.

"With the race strategies, the middle teams are always having to do a stop less because you cannot get yourself clear of all the traffic, whereas they [the top teams] are quick enough to clear it. They are able to do more stops, be more aggressive, and their qualifying performance is better. It is a roller ball. You cannot get yourself out of it.

"The only way to get out of it, is to find one second in performance. It means you can go ultra aggressive with cambers, and you can then always clear the traffic. But when you are right on the cusp of it, you cannot get yourself out of it."

Di Resta believes that even if even teams like Force India did run extensively in Q3, it would make little difference to the show on a Saturday.

"At the end of the day, you are not going to watch the likes of us at Force India qualifying eighth," he said. "You will see whoever it is battling for pole - whether it is Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, or Fernando Alonso.

"However, us not running puts us in a stronger position to fight with them in the race, so I don't see why there is a big thing behind it.

"There is a whole world of people working in this industry in F1. They have some specialities and they are doing the best at what they are doing, and different strategies apply to F1 - like we used to see with different fuel loads.

"Equally, when you started 11th you could have a free chance to be ultra aggressive and have a go at a quicker car than you, as the people quicker than you were compromised. They never knew who their next competitor was going to be."

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