“Anytime we were on track we were competitive”
Paul Di Resta had a memorable first British Grand Prix last weekend, and while he didn’t get the sort of result he wanted, the Force India driver has undoubtedly won over a few more home fans.
The weekend started well when he qualified a superb sixth, just one spot behind Jenson Button, and four ahead of Lewis Hamilton. In the tricky early stages of the race he lost a spot to the flying Lewis, but as the track dried and the race settled down, he ran a superb seventh, just in front of team mate Adrian Sutil.
“After such a good day on Saturday, and such a good opening part to the race, I thought we were quite competitive,” said Paul. “We seemed to be able to hold on to Jenson, and I was saving my tyres, thinking maybe that would come into play. I think we made the call at the right time to go onto slicks, and we were running again quite well. “
Paul came into the pits for a second set of slicks on lap 24, but unfortunately a communications glitch meant that he lost over 20 seconds before he was able to leave.
“I got a call to come to the pits, and when I was in the pitlane, there wasn’t a set of tyres there. Then there was a set, which were the wrong ones, and they had to go back in and get another set.
“All in all we lost over 20 seconds, and that’s crucial, especially when you’re going aggressive on strategy like we were. There were other guys out there doing fewer pit stops.”
He tumbled down to 15th place, and keen to make up ground, he had to do some overtaking. Unfortunately just two laps after the stop he made contact with Sebastien Buemi when he tried a passing move into Brooklands, and he had to pit again for a new nose.
“There’s not really too much I can say. He didn’t leave me too much room. I had to pass him. I was on the damp bit, but he did come across in front of me. I think it was a bit of a racing incident. But we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that situation today.”
The extra stop put Paul well out of contention for points: “You’re running around pretty lonely, getting lapped by the other cars. So I was disappointed.”
I think up until lap 24 the whole weekend was quite good
After the nose stop Paul ran all the way to the flag on the same set of tyres, which represented quite an impressive effort. No other driver did such a long final stint.
He eventually finished 15th, but despite the frustration, overall he agrees that Silverstone was a good weekend for him.
“I think up until lap 24 the whole weekend was quite good. Anytime we were on track we were very competitive. I’ll take the positives from that.”
Next stop is the Nurburgring, where Paul has competed both in F3 and DTM on a regular basis. While it’s not quite an extra home race for him, he probably knows the track better than most places he will visit this year – or least, he knows half of it!
“I’ve never raced on the Grand Prix track, it’s always been on the short track. So I know parts of it. It rains a lot, and it’s cold! I think we should be quite positive going into it, we’ve got some upgrades coming, and hopefully they will be in the right direction, but we can’t say too much yet.”
His DTM success means Paul is well known in Germany, so he should get some good support this weekend, especially as traditionally a lot of Mercedes employees and guests go to the race.
“Obviously I’ve been there a few times, and it would be nice if there are a few fans. But at the same time there are six German drivers they can support without me being there! The nice thing is I’m going back in a Mercedes-powered car.”
By: Force India