Di Resta impressesposted in F110 | 09 | 2010

    BATHGATE'S Paul di Resta delivered another impressive outing behind the wheel of the Force India Formula One car when he took to the track for the opening free practice session at Monza.

    The 24-year-old Scot, with his cousins Dario and Marino Franchitti watching for the first time from inside the team's garage, was fifth-fastest at one stage before slipping back to 12th.

    "Wow ... I knew Monza was going to be good, but boy was it much more than that," Di Resta told Scotcars. "It's a fantastic circuit and the whole place just oozes atmosphere, history and drama. I found myself almost pinching myself when I came into the circuit this morning knowing I was going to drive a Formula One car round it for 90 minutes.

    "It's a very special place, and one unlike any other I've ever been to. One side of the track is very open, and then suddenly you're in the middle of the forest in the other part.

    "It's also different because it's all high speed, and all braking: you're either travelling at pretty much flat-out, or slowing down very quickly. It's a very physical track.

    "Today was also the first time I've driven the Force India car in low downforce trim and initially it came as a bit of a shock. The braking stability I've got used to before is not there, and the braking areas are longer.

    "It was also great having Dario and Marino in the garage with me today. Dario and I speak most days on the phone and though he's watched me in F1 practice sessions before, it's always been on TV when he's been in the States. Today was the first time he's been onsite to see me drive an F1 car for real.

    "I was driving Adrian's car today, so I played myself in sensibly and I didn't want to flat spot a tyre or anything because I knew the circuit was going to improve at the end of the session.

    "At one stage in the session I was fifth-fastest and I set my quickest lap — a 1min 24.923secs — 62 minutes into the session. As I expected, as the other guys were able to put fresh rubber on towards the end of the session, I dropped back to 12th, but I was really satisfied with the performance and feedback I delivered for the team.

    "Naturally, as usual I would have loved to have gone out in the second session, but at least its another track I've learned and it's looking very positive for the team over the weekend."

    Jim McGill

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