Paul di Resta shone in front of his home fans today in qualifying for the F1 2011 British Grand Prix and for only the second time this season made it into the top-ten shootout.
The Scot dialled his Force India in perfectly and despite very changeable conditions managed to secure a place on the third row, only 0.031 seconds behind fellow countryman and McLaren star Jenson Button. It was his best qualifying performance to date and he will now be looking to try and build on that in Sunday's race.
“I'm really happy with the result today. To be here for my first British Grand Prix and to be starting in sixth place feels great,” he reflected. “The whole team did an excellent job and made sure we were out on track at the right times.
“The car has shown very strongly in every session and even in the wet yesterday we were very comfortable. Maybe there was a little bit of luck at the end of Q3 when the rain started again, but I think that in the worst case scenario I would have ended up in eighth. Hopefully we can carry the performance into tomorrow and come away with a strong result in my home race.”
Team-mate Adrian Sutil meanwhile will start eleventh in the sister car after finding himself just on the wrong side of the cut-off in Q2.
“I'm quite happy with this qualifying session. It puts us in a good position for tomorrow,” reflected the German. “It was very close with four or five positions separated by a few tenths and I just missed out on making Q3 in the final few moments.
“The track conditions were tricky because it was a little bit wet at the beginning of Q2 and the track was constantly improving as it dried. We made the right calls with the tyres and made the most of the conditions so I'm quite happy with the outcome. I think the weather conditions are likely to be a bit better tomorrow and points will be the aim.”
“To be starting the British Grand Prix from P6 and P11 is an excellent result for Force India and we can be very pleased with the performance of the car today,” summed-up FIF1 chairman and team principal, Dr Vijay Mallya. “The weather conditions have been challenging for everyone over the last couple of days, but we've remained focussed on the job and found a good balance with the cars despite the lack of dry running.
“I'm very proud of what Paul has achieved today. He has come here extremely confident and delivered an outstanding performance. Adrian, too, has felt very comfortable and we are now well placed to get both cars in the points tomorrow. Silverstone is always one of the highlights of the season. It's the home of our factory and a strong result here would be a fitting reward for the team's hard work so far this year.”