Meet the next Briton tipped to break into Formula One
Saturday 10 July 2010
Paul Di Resta was well familiar with Silverstone long before he drove a Force India in yesterday morning's first free practice session.
The 24-year-old from West Lothian used to watch his cousin Dario Franchitti, the IndyCar champion and twice winner of the Indianapolis 500, race there when he was a child. "But I think the first time I was there was with my dad [Louis] when he was racing in the Superkart Grand Prix," he recalls. "I was very young – I can remember watching Dario testing in Vauxhall Junior, and then when he was racing in DTM [German Touring Car Masters]."
Today Di Resta is widely seen as the next Briton likely to race in Formula One, after his manager Anthony Hamilton – yes, Lewis's dad – won him the role as test and reserve driver for Force India, though currently the Silverstone-based squad has contracts with drivers Tonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil.
In his morning tests Di Resta has proved himself fast and mistake-free, well capable of doing the job. "There's always an element of pressure," he says, "but so long as I come back with the results it gives the team another impression of the car."
When your background embraces icons such as Jimmy Clark and Jackie Stewart, there's a lot to live up to. "I appreciate that history," Di Resta says, "and I hope one day I can be part of that. But I also have my own goals, and one of them is that I want to be world champion myself. Even when I was karting, it was 'could I be part of that?' rather than 'would it happen?'"
A self-contained, no-nonsense type, Di Resta seems formidably focused on those goals.
Chelsea vs West Brom: Jose Mourinho says Diego Costa is ready for ‘marathon’ Christmas
Arsenal vs Manchester United: Arsene Wenger insists clash at the Emirates Stadium remains battle of the giants
Tim Sherwood column: If David Moyes' bold move works it will open doors for British managers
Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere, Yaya Toure or Steven Gerrard? No, it's Mile Jedinak who is the best midfielder in the Premier League
Manchester United transfer news: Robin van Persie could leave this summer with Edinson Cavani and Thomas Muller on United wish-list
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Largest ever study into the gay gene 'erodes the notion that sexual orientation is a choice'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'