Paul di Resta has admitted that he is looking forward to getting out on track at Silverstone this weekend, even if his participation in the British Grand Prix is likely to be limited to 90 minutes of running in free practice.
Despite the DTM, in which he competes throughout the year racing annually at Brands Hatch, the Scot admits that he does not appear in the UK often enough, and is therefore relishing the chance to pedal Force India's VJM03 on the revised Silverstone layout on Friday morning.
"I'm looking forward to it, particularly as I've not raced in the UK for some time," he confirmed, no doubt reflecting on the DTM victory he took at Brands Hatch last August, "I left to go to F3 Euroseries in 2005 and then have been racing in the DTM, so this will be a really exciting time to return, particularly when there's so much support for F1 in Britain after our two back to back world champions.
"More importantly I am looking forward to getting back into the car, and at a track that is as high speed as Silverstone. Valencia wasn't such a challenge as it was just straights, then turn in but, at Silverstone, you're really relying on the car's performance. Plus to race round a track that's got so much history and so much tradition about it, that's quite special."
Although the layout has been changed to incorporate the new Arena section, di Resta is already familiar with Silverstone at F1 speeds.
"I can remember watching my cousin Dario [Franchitti] in a Vauxhall Junior race when I was very young, and then I got my turn when I raced there in Formula Renault in 2003 and 2004, but my strongest memory of Silverstone is when I first drove an F1 car there as part of my McLaren Autosport BRDC Award prize that I won in 2004," he recalled, "All the assessments for the prize were also done at the track so, for sure, I do feel that Silverstone is a real milestone in my career so far.
"It will be a special thrill to sit in an F1 car going around Silverstone and I'm really looking forward to it but, all the same, I'm going out there with the same approach I've always had - with my head in gear, giving the team consistent running, valuable feedback time and learning the track for the future."
di Resta's weekend coincides with the news that he is to launch his very own whisky label.
According to The Scotsman
newspaper, the 24-year old will unveil the 'Whyte & Mackay di Resta blend', with the brand appearing on his overalls and helmet from Silverstone onwards. Whyte & Mackay is a prominent backer of the Force India team and has created the blend specifically for the successor to Scottish F1 legends as Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and David Coulthard.
"Award-wining master blender Richard Paterson has created many bespoke blends based on peoples' personalities," the report confirmed, "The blend is a union of Highland, Speyside and grain whiskies, representing his great strength, charm and raw Scottish talent. On the nose, this whisky is a little shy at first, but then gives way to a full-bodied explosion - reflecting Paul's initial shyness when he first meets people."