Paul Di Resta thrilled to bounce back from recent Q1 horrors with fifth on British GP grid
Scot admits "we've given ourselves a good shot" at podium
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 29/06/13 5:07pm
Paul Di Resta has hailed qualifying an impressive fifth on the grid for his home British GP as "remarkable" given Force India were only outpaced by renowned single-lap masters Mercedes and Red Bull around Silverstone.
While the two top teams continued their season-long domination of Q3 on Saturday, the battle for 'best-of-the-rest' honours surprisingly didn't feature either Lotus or Ferrari with both Force Indias, along with Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, left to battle over the third row of the grid.
That three-way fight was marginally won by Di Resta, who equalled his career-best grid slot from the Bahrain GP in April, and the Scot said the result was a stunning turnaround from his shock Q1 exits at the previous two races.
Put to him by Sky Sports F1's Natalie Pinkham that fifth place beat his hitherto Silverstone best of sixth from two years ago, Di Resta replied: "Best of the year I think - I've been saving it for here!
"Starting fifth gets us in some free air at the beginning of the race and all focus will be on the start, but a remarkable effort given where we have been on Saturday afternoon at the last two grands prix.
"We know the reasons why we didn't quite optimise them but on a high-downforce it just shows you the work we're doing. We saved the best to last in Q3 and to only get beat by the Red Bulls and Mercedes' and to be in front of the rest is a credit to all the boys and the effort that has gone in.
"We'll just try and do what we can tomorrow, we've got some fast cars around us, but our car is proving to be fast as well."
Having scored points in all-but one of this season's races to date, both Di Resta and Force India have being targeting a breakthrough podium finish to underline the team's strong progress up the field.
And while not exactly not exactly talking up his chances of doing just that from Sunday, Di Resta acknowledged that qualifying at the head of the third row certainly has increased his chances.
"[We are] not getting away with ourselves," he insisted. "If we get on top of the tyres we will but we've given ourselves a good shot at it.
"It's a long old grand prix here and I hope to do more laps than I have in the previous years because I've not finished a grand prix here. So fingers crossed."