Di Resta targets strong result in home GP
Formula One rookie Paul di Resta was delighted with sixth place on the grid for the British Grand Prix and aims to convert that into points in front of his home crowd this afternoon.
The Scot, who once again outqualified his team-mate Adrian Sutil (it stands 7-2 in di Resta's favour) is in with a great chance of his third top 10 result this season - and possibly something better.
The Scot set a fastest time of 1:31.929 with his penultimate lap in the third and final qualifying session and will line up alongside Jenson Button on the third row of the grid. Fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton is two rows behind in 10th.
"I'm really happy with the result," di Resta said. "To be here for my first British Grand Prix and to be starting in sixth place feel great.
"The car has shown very strongly in every session and even in the wet yesterday we were very comfortable. Maybe there was a bit of luck at the end of Q3 when the rain started again, but I think that in the worst case scenario I would have ended up in eighth."
Force India Team Principal Dr Vijay Mallya was equally delighted with di Resta's highest qualifying position of the year and is keen to reap the rewards for the Silverstone-based team.
"I'm very proud of what Paul has achieved. He has come here extremely confident and delivered an outstanding performance.
"Silverstone is always one of the highlights of the season and a special race for Force India... a strong result here would be a fitting reward for the team's hard work."
Di Resta's best results so far came early in the season when he finished 10th on his F1 debut in Australia and repeated that success in Malaysia but the past three races have been difficult. Drive-through penalties in Monaco and Canada cost him time and position after running as high as ninth and fifth respectively, while in Valencia any chance of a good race was effectively wiped out with test driver Nico Hulkenberg's crash during practice in di Resta's car.
Could Silverstone mark a change in fortune? Di Resta hopes so.
"Hopefully we can carry the [qualifying] performance into [the race] and come away with a strong result in my home race."