British Grand Prix: Paul Di Resta raises his game

Hamilton and Button may have to cede limelight to another Brit this weekend

Silverstone

Forty years ago, at Silverstone, James Hunt first broke through to prominence on the Formula One stage, with a superb drive to fourth place in exalted company. On yesterday’s form, Paul di Resta may be poised for a similar performance after lapping his locally built Force India little more than half a second slower than Monaco winner Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button may be the partisan crowd’s primary heroes, but the quiet Scot – cousin of triple Indianapolis 500 winner and multiple Indycar champion Dario Franchitti – may be the best placed to deliver the strongest result. He has scored points in six of the seven grands prix held in 2013, overcoming misfortune in qualifying in Canada last time out to climb from 17th to seventh place after a drive which confirmed the promise he has shown since his Formula Three days when he beat Sebastian Vettel. Yesterday, the world champion was a tenth of a second off soon-to-depart Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, and just over a tenth faster than Di Resta.

Based literally across the road outside the track, Force India have arguably been the most consistent team of the season and are ready to break through for a podium finish. “Canada was obviously an excellent result,” Di Resta said. “I think everybody raised their game for Sunday and what we achieved was quite remarkable. This weekend, three more straightforward days I think will definitely be on the cards. I want to build upon that, to move forward and to finish in the points. We’ve managed to score on six occasions this year. If we can keep that up, and equally try and battle with McLaren, hopefully be in front of them, it makes a big difference to a team like us that’s battling in the midfield most of the year.

“Our car seems to be working well in all circumstances this year. It seems very consistent. I think this is a track where tyres are going to be a question. We’re normally on the healthier side of tyre wear and really the focus should be on qualifying because that’s the big result of the weekend, and then transfer that into the race where we will hopefully enjoy some great British support.”

Despite their speed, neither Rosberg nor Hamilton was happy with their Mercedes’ balance in Silverstone’s numerous high-speed corners. Hamilton, who tried a further revised braking system with a new master cylinder and pedal leverage in a bid to enhance the feel he wants under heavy retardation, said: “We had quite a challenging day today and definitely have more to learn tomorrow. I’m struggling a little with the balance of my car so there’s some work to do overnight to get us into shape for qualifying. I can’t remember the last time I felt so uncomfortable with the set-up.”

While Di Resta and Hamilton were fourth and fifth fastest, Button was 11th in a further modified McLaren, a second and a half off Rosberg’s pace but nearly half a second up on team-mate Sergio Perez. “The car doesn’t feel too bad out there, and the balance is reasonable – better than it was in Canada – but we’re still some way off the pace,” said Button.

New race bans: Twelve points and you’re out

Formula One drivers will be subject to a penalty-points system from next season. Once they rack up 12 points they will be banned from the subsequent grand prix.

There will be a tariff for various offences, such as three points for a dangerous collision and up to five for more serious indiscretions. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said that points would stay on the driver’s licence for 12 months.

The FIA has also relaxed a ban on testing during the season, an issue that led to Mercedes and the tyre supplier Pirelli being summoned to a tribunal earlier this month after a “secret” test in Spain in May. The changes were agreed at a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council at Goodwood.

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn