Paul di Resta was buoyed by his pace in practice for the Italian Grand Prix, but admitted he was frustrated to start from ninth on the grid in Sunday's race after a gearbox penalty.

15961 - Di Resta bouyed by pace despite penalty frustration

Di Resta was fourth fastest, the best qualifying performance of his F1 career, but a five-place penalty dropped him to ninth. The Force India driver said the car had improved with every lap and praised his team's efforts.

"The car has been working well all weekend so I knew we were in good shape going into qualifying. We were in the top five of free practice and the car has got better and better with each run as the track evolved. I'm very happy with my Q3 lap, which was my quickest lap so far - so we maximised it when it mattered. I think the entire team has done an excellent job to get us in this position - we've trusted our instincts and just worked away at dialling the car into the track."

He added that the grid penalty was frustrating, but hardly a surprise.

"I knew I was going to have a grid penalty for the gearbox change, which is frustrating, but at least I will start inside the top ten. The challenge now is to make sure we have the race pace and use the strategy to come away with points."