Paul Di Resta was angered by the stewards’ decision to give him a five second penalty after it was deemed the R-Motorsports driver had jumped the start of race one at Brands Hatch.
After a difficult wet-dry qualifying, the Scottish driver had set an impressive lap time to qualify in fourth place and score the teams best grid position since the opening round at Hockenheim.
Away from the line, Di Resta looked to have made the perfect start, passing pole-sitter BMW Team RMG’s Marco Wittmann, Audi Sport Team Rosberg’s René Rast, and Audi Sport Team Phoenix’s Loïc Duval before reaching the first turn at Paddock Hill Bend.
By lap three, Di Resta looked to be effectively holding off Wittmann but it was announced that he was under investigation for a jump start, and a lap later the stewards had made the decision to penalise the 2010 series champion.
Di Resta told TouringCars.net that, from his perspective, it wasn’t a jump start and that the new system for measuring the starts would have penalised drivers for the last 15 years.
“I don’t think it’s a jump start, the team don’t think it’s a jump start,” explained the Aston Martin driver.
“The reality is if you look at the last 15 years, if that’s a penalty then every single start that anyone’s done in the last 15 years is a penalty.
“Clearly they are looking at it differently. I thought it was harsh.”
Despite the penalty, Di Resta remained positive that the new Aston Martin Vantage showed pace to qualify well and then lead the race in the opening laps.
“It’s an important weekend for Aston Martin. Tactically we’re strong, now what we need to look at is what we can do tomorrow.
“I’m not sure we were in contention for the win, there was other people that had a lot more speed but we were certainly looking to be in the top five.”
After looking strong in the early laps, Di Resta was forced to retire with only two laps to go with a mechanical issue, and the Scottish driver is hoping that this doesn’t affect his chances of competing on Sunday.
“We know the window the car operates in. We’ve got a few mechanical issues to look at and we need the car to run smoothly because it’s straight into qualifying.
“If we can score some points tomorrow then we will come away happy people.”