Di Resta not just the other Brit in F1

Silverstone: After outqualifying Lewis Hamilton and lining up next to Jenson Button in sixth place for his home British Grand Prix, Paul Di Resta had every right to feel elated, proud and excited on Saturday.

Very little of that was apparent on the surface, however, with Britain`s third Formula One driver keeping his emotions - at least in public - very much in check after qualifying.

"We`re on the third row of the grid, hopefully that is a good place to start," ventured the 25-year-old Force India rookie, analysing his performance in the usual carefully measured tones.

"We`ve performed well at a point we probably needed too, but we would have been equally as happy with this at another grand prix."

The Scot is not one for bragging or shouting from the rooftops, letting his ever more impressive performances on the track do the talking while reporters seek to squeeze blood from the proverbial stone.

Having been to a `Take That` concert before the race weekend, he was asked whether the group`s singer Robbie Williams had relit his fire for the biggest race of his career so far.

"I don`t think I`ll say too much about that," Di Resta answered wisely, making clear that the evening out had been more for his girlfriend.

Flamboyant team owner Vijay Mallya, airline and liquor billionaire and self-billed `King of Good Times`, was more effusive about the talent he has in his car and that he intends to keep there.

"I`ve a lot of respect for Paul. He is an exceptionally talented driver and an outstanding human being," he said.

"His talent was always acknowledged and respected in this team. The minute he sat in this year`s car, he showed he was made of more than the right stuff.

"He is very comfortable in the car and has been pushing it to his limit all the time, so it`s no surprise he has done so well here today."

Di Resta is a former DTM (German Touring Car) champion and has been backed and nurtured by Mercedes.

When seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher decides to call it a day, with the great German`s contract ending at the end of next year, Di Resta could well be in line for a seat with that team.

"I haven`t put Paul in the car without having clear options going forward, and he is also very, very happy in this environment and in this team," said Mallya when asked about the future.

"I wouldn`t be foolish to let go of a star, so we`ll talk later in the year, but I feel the odds are more in favour of Paul remaining with Force India.

"When I first signed him up I told him we wanted a commitment which he was happy to give, and so I was happy to give him a break."

Di Resta, naturally, would not discuss any details of his current contract but Mallya was less shy, saying it was "longer than this season".

"He is certainly worth every penny, absolutely," he added. "He is doing a great job and he will go far, and he is showing that. Amazing."

Bureau Report

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