An Intimate Portrait of a Young Man in a Hurry; Revealed, Early Pictures of Scotland's Newest Formula 1 Star

Article excerpt

Byline: Jody Harrison

HIS legs look barely long enough to reach the pedals, but there is little doubt that driving is what he was born to do.

As these pictures from the family album show, Scotland's latest racing star Paul Di Resta was always heading for the fast lane.

He achieved his childhood dream last week when he was announced as the latest Scot to become a Formula 1 driver, following in the wheel tracks of Sir Jackie Stewart, David Coulthard and Jim Clark.

Di Resta, of Bathgate, West Lothian, will drive for Force India this year, making his debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

But the high-octane life of the circuit is nothing new to the 24-year-old, who says he has been behind a wheel almost as long as he has been walking.

And with famous cousins Dario and Marino Franchitti in the family, it was always likely he would get off to a flying start.

Both drivers lived with di Resta's family when he was growing up and he says that they were as close as brothers.

But it is Di Resta who has made it the furthest in motorsport, becoming a Formula 1 driver while Dario and Marino went to compete in the US in the Indycar and Le Mans circuits.

Yet while Di Resta will soon enter the glitzy world of the Grand Prix circus, it has been a long road for the young Scot, who first climbed into a kart aged only two years and eight months old.

As a pint-sized speed demon, the Scot won his first race the day after his eight birthday - only 24 hours after he was eligible to take to the track.

And with help and advice from his two cousins, Di Resta took to the racetrack like a natural and was soon a regular in pole position.

But now he is set to overtake his more famous relations and find his own way to the chequered flag as he travels from race to race around the globe.

Di Resta said: 'Dario has had his own career. He has achieved what he has had to achieve in America.

'We are very close and always have been as a family. It's great to have that support but at the same time this is my dream. I am taking a different route. …