Paul di Resta has said he will realise a dream this Sunday when he races in front of his home fans at the British Grand Prix.
The Scot got his first season at the pinnacle of the sport off to a strong start and took points in Australia and Malaysia – the opening two races. While it hasn't been quite so plain sailing since then, he is hopeful he can break back into the top-ten again this weekend at Silverstone and increase his current two-point tally.
"Yeah, there's no denying this is probably going to be my biggest race of the year,” the Force India F1 pilot told the Edinburgh Evening News
. “To race in front of your home fans at any time is fantastic, but to do it for the first time in a F1 car is a dream come true.
“I know the race is a sell-out, and on top of that I've a whole load of family and friends making the trip to see the race. So it's going to be a very, very special weekend for me.
“It's also a big weekend for the team because the Force India headquarters is based just across the road from the circuit, so there will also be a big number of people from there at the race over the weekend.
“Valencia [two weeks ago] was tough, because again we didn't score the points or get the result I believe we deserved. Much of the cause of that was down to Nico Hulkenberg crashing my race car during Friday's Free Practice. As a result, I only got 10 minutes in the car on the Friday which left me and the team playing catch-up.
“If the car performs the way it has over the past few races though, then I firmly believe we can get into the top 10 shoot-out in qualifying on Saturday.
“And if we do that, then I'm confident we can get back in amongst the points on my British Grand Prix debut.”
As for his season overall, the 25-year-old added he has generally been happy with his form: “I think it was very positive at the beginning,” he continued speaking in Thursday's FIA press conference. “There have been some definite highs and lows but I think, standing from the outside, you can generally be quite pleased with it.
“The good thing is I seem to be relatively competitive to my team-mate. We are going forward and hopefully I can just build upon that. But at the end of the year this is a difficult step and certainly the more tracks you go to, all the tracks have been new to me. I haven't raced on any of them.
“This one isn't going to be any different and these guys have a lot of experience and I respect that. I have watched them over the years and hopefully you can just be in the mix to be competitive against them.”