Force India's Paul di Resta produced an impressive performance to qualify fifth fastest ahead of his home race at Silverstone, beating the likes of former F1 world champions Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
The 27-year-old is enjoying a strong start to F1 2013, lying in eighth place in the Drivers' Championship in the lead up to the British Grand Prix, and was 'best of the rest' in the top-ten shootout behind only the Mercedes and Red Bulls.
Speaking after the session the Scot was understandably pleased with his performance: “I'm over the moon with the qualifying result and I think the whole team can feel very satisfied with fifth on the grid,” he said.
“The morning practice session was quite difficult so it feels great to come through and end up just behind two Mercedes and two Red Bulls. This track takes a lot of commitment and you need to build up your speed, but I think we saved our best till last – and that's when it mattered.
“For tomorrow our tyre wear looks healthy and we've given ourselves a good opportunity to get in some clean air during the race. I will sleep well tonight and hope that we can have a straightforward race, and come away with lots of points.”
Team-mate Adrian Sutil had a more low-key but barely less impressive session, and will start seventh after recovering from a difficult run in final practice this morning.
“Seventh place is a great result today, the car was not easy to drive this morning, but we made some improvements before qualifying and found more speed with each session. If we can do our homework tonight then we have the potential to have a great race,” added the German.
“There are still some unknowns with the tyres over long runs because I haven't really done more than ten laps on a set of tyres, but I feel comfortable on both compounds. So we can be happy with the result, but we need to concentrate on tomorrow because that's what counts.
“In terms of strategy we need to keep an open mind and have several options going into the race so that we can react as the race develops.”
by Philip Barclay