• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Paul Di Resta itching to get back into life in fast lane with Force India

It was not quite the ear-shattering roar of the Formula One paddock, rather a genteel hum as the mass of shuffling enthusiasts cooed over the exhibits at the Caravan and Outdoor Leisure Show in Glasgow's SECC and dreamily pondered the prospect of parking up in a spanking new Pegasus Rimini single-axle four-berth.

Paul Di Resta will help launch Force India's new car at Silverstone today. Picture: David Davies/PA
Paul Di Resta will help launch Force India's new car at Silverstone today. Picture: David Davies/PA

Amid this holiday home bonanza, tucked away quietly from the throng, sat the unassuming figure of Paul Di Resta, Formula One driver and fully paid up member of the Caravan Club. That's hardly a surprising fact given that mobile homes have been a significant feature of the 25-year-old's life, from the modest affairs of the karting scene to the opulent palaces that are wheeled around the Grand Prix circuit.

"We used to go on caravanning holidays as a family but I've been more used to them around the race track," said Di Resta from the comfort of the caravan couch. "The caravan was the gang hut, a place you'd go to do all the things that go with being at a race. Knockhill and Ingliston were just like caravan parks. It's changed a bit from the early days. We call them 'mission control' now."

Di Resta didn't have much time to enjoy the relative tranquillity of his SECC bolthole on wheels. He was heading for Silverstone last night in preparation for today's launch of Force India's successor to the Mercedes VJM04, the car that the Scot will drive this season alongside his new German team-mate, Nico Hulkenberg.

After a mightily impressive rookie year in 2011, during which Di Resta plundered a haul of 27 points and scored in seven of his final nine races with a productive run that was illuminated by a season-best of sixth in Singapore, the West Lothian driver is eager to get cracking.

The Di Resta-Hulkenberg alliance has already been billed as the 'most exciting pairing' among the mid-ranking teams on the grid. A push for a podium finish has also been talked about but the canny Scot refuses to get distracted by any ambitious, early-season predictions.

"It's a big thing, launching a new car," added the AutoSport rookie of the year, who will travel to Jerez in Spain next week for testing ahead of the 2012 opener in Australia in March. "I've seen the models and the designs and I'm looking forward to getting out and driving it in anger.

"But I'm not getting carried away. A podium [finish] will be a massive challenge. We are a mid-field team and you have to be realistic. I'm not saying it can't happen but it will take a lot for us to achieve that."

Following today's launch, Di Resta will meet up with his cousin and double Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti this weekend for a "bit of training" and to "try and get him into the gym." The build-up to another season is already well under way.

"One thing I realised is that the year doesn't last long," reflected Monaco-based Di Resta. "You underestimate how busy it is. If you think you'll have a 15-year career, which I hope I do, that's one gone already. The main thing is to enjoy it. It's my hobby, my sport and the job I love doing."

Amid the calm of the caravan, Di Resta is clearly itching to get back in the fast lane.

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

82046