Paul Di Resta prepared for a wet and edgy weekend at Silverstone
British Grand Prix organisers yesterday unveiled their emergency plan for the weather they expect to disrupt Sunday's race, as an amber warning was issued for the Northamptonshire region. But rain or shine, Paul di Resta believes he will be comfortable on a weekend when he will be able to share his home race with family members such as his father Louis as they stay in the Farm enclosure, while enjoying the support of the partisan crowd.
"Last year I got a feeling in my first British Grand Prix for what it's like to have a country behind you," the 26- year-old Scot said yesterday. "The atmosphere is electric – but I'd still encourage everyone to get out their rain jackets as it's going to get very wet."
The weather could just provide the wild-card unpredictability that gives the smaller teams such as Di Resta's Force India, located just over the road from the Silverstone circuit, a chance of glory, but he isn't indulging in any fanciful thinking. His plan is just to keep his head down and do his best – the modus operandi that served him well in his rookie season last year, when he regularly upstaged his established team-mate Adrian Sutil, and has seen him become effectively the team leader in many eyes.
"You say that," he acknowledges, "but Nico [Hulkenberg, this year's team-mate] has a similar level of experience to me and I don't feel that I need to take any responsibility for leadership. We are both competitive, and our biggest goal is to work together to drive the team forward."
They have been doing that all season, to the point where Di Resta's name has been linked with both Mercedes and Ferrari. But again, there are no stars in his eyes. "It's not a distraction," he says. "It's a compliment in a way. And it's no secret that I want to win races in F1. I'm happy where I am, but I'm greedy because I want more. But most of all I'm just focusing on the upcoming races and doing my best in them and continuing the progress."
And if it's a wet race? "That'll certainly keep us on the edge. In those circumstances, you do what you do anyway – you're always trying to do your best in whatever circumstances you encounter."
And if it's very wet? Silverstone said yesterday that they have added an extra mile of filter drainage and brought in 1,100 tonnes of hardcore and two 4,000-gallon tankers to aid water removal.
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