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Di Resta hails Grand Prix result amid violent scenes

SCOTTISH Formula One driver Paul di Resta hailed his result in Bahrain as a "massive achievement" for his team in the wake of a turbulent week which saw staff narrowly escape injury in a petrol bomb attack.

The Bathgate-born Force India driver finished sixth after briefly leading the race won by Sebastian Vettel, equalling his highest finish.

He said: "It was an outstanding performance by every member of the team, and under difficult circumstances. It's been difficult for every team member, but every one of them has stood up."

Four team members were caught up in Bahrain's anti-government protests on Wednesday night en route to the capital Manama from the track, prompting two members of staff to fly home and the team's decision not to participate in the second practice run on Friday on security grounds.

Meanwhile, deputy team principal Bob Fernley stood by the decision to pull out of first practice early amid suggestions that Formula One authorities had punished Force India by having them blanked out of television coverage during qualifying.

He said: "I don't think I've got any regrets at all that we got hauled into everything the way we did.

"It was not received very well, but we had to be strong enough in what we did."

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone said he suspected the television blackout of the Whyte & Mackay-sponsored Force India cars was " more to do with the Bahrain laws on no alcohol advertising".

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