Improving Di Resta can crash top 6 at Silverstone
With Jenson Button having a season to forget by his own high standards at McLaren, the home guard will be more or less reliant on Lewis Hamilton if the winner’s laurels are to be taken by a Briton at Silverstone.
However, in the same fortnight in which the disparate parts of the United Kingdom will unite to cheer on Scottish son Andy Murray at Wimbledon, another Scot is fancied to post a career best performance for the Union Jack brigade.
27-year-old West Lothian native Paul Di Resta is having his best season in F1 to date by a wide margin, with top-nine finishes in six of his seven races, including a career best fourth-placed finish in Bahrain. The only time he has failed to graze single figures in the final classification was in Malaysia when he retired from the race.
The fact that the aforementioned mishap was the only time he has had to retire from a race during the campaign vouches for the increasing reliability of his Sahara Force India steed, with teammate Adrian Sutil only retiring once more than the Scot.
Consistency from both cars and a steady flow of points has been music to the ears of Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya, for whom things are going exactly according to plan this term.
For Di Resta hitting the top 10 with unerring accuracy has masked problems in qualifying that make his results all the more impressive. Of the six Grand Prix he has finished this term, he has placed higher in the race than in qualifying on five occasions, most recently converting a 17th-placed grid position into seventh place at the chequered flag in Montreal.
Furthermore, Silverstone is a track at which overtaking is commonplace, as evidenced by the fact that just three of the last 10 drivers to start the race on pole converted their grid position into race victory.
Di Resta has suffered from ill fortune in his two previous spins round the Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone, being held up by a teammate’s unscheduled pits-visit in 2011, before colliding with Romain Grosjean at the start of last year’s race.
With the extra motivation of having something to prove in front of his home crowd, allied to increasing consistency and the ability to weave his way through field in races, Di Resta looks a cracking bet to finish inside the top 10 at 9/4.