It is Adrian Sutil's turn on Friday to sit out the initial practice session.
Di Resta said he is confident the extra track time will be useful this weekend in China.
"Hopefully I can work away and get up to speed a bit quicker," he is quoted by breakingnews.ie.
"That's the bit I've not had this year. I've gone from FP2 into FP3 with the car I'm going to qualify with. That's meant I've gone in with something unknown and been changed, and it's not necessarily worked," added di Resta.
However, di Resta outqualified the more experienced Sutil at both Melbourne and Sepang.