Di Resta set to lead Silverstone team

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Entering his third season of Grand Prix racing, young Scot, Paul di Resta, is set to lead the Sahara Force India team during the 2013 FIA F1 World Championship, writes James Beckett.

Di Resta unveiled the team’s new Mercedes-powered VJM06 car at Silverstone last Friday before jumping into the machine for a handful of installation laps around the track’s Southern Circuit before it was transported to Spain for this week’s opening pre-season F1 group test.

Di Resta remains the only driver announced as a contracted Force India driver for the approaching new season with Jules Bianchi, Adrian Sutil and James Rossiter thought to be in the frame for the second seat.

The Scot said: “I feel really ready for the new season. The off-season has been pretty short but everyone at the factory has been working really hard to prepare this new car. It may look very similar to the 2012 car but this is an all-new car.

“We had a solid season in 2012 and really the team were working towards Nico (Hulkenberg) and myself driving this season.

“Nico left to go to Sauber and that maybe left us in a position we did not expect to find ourselves in but it has not caused any problems.

“I feel in great shape and the team is very confident as we start testing.”

Bob Fearnley, the Sahara Force India team director, added: “Our aim for the 2013 season is to continue the form we showed during 2012 and improve on that.

“We believe we have a package capable of challenging for top ten finishes in every Grand Prix and if that can be achieved then we will be happy.

“The team’s shareholders are looking at driver options and an announcement of who will race alongside Paul will be made very soon.

“We have a list of candidates and the shareholders let everyone know when the final decision has been made.”