Force India makes F1B’s gift to Grace look cheap

Vijay Mallya is not making it easy for me to keep supporting his team.

I just know as soon as Grace sees this story she’s going to tear into all of us here for not going all out for her big 28th birthday.

“Thanks a lot, jerks,” I already can hear her say.

Thanks a lot, Vijay, I say in return!

It turns out that today is Paul di Resta’s 24th birthday, and in celebration Force India gave its reserve driver not only a free practice session but a new set of racing boots, to… ummm… boot.

Here are the details:

To mark the occasion Paul was also given a very special present from his new team – a custom-made pair of Alpinestars racing boots that he also wore during the practice.

The bespoke, hand-made boots were cut from white and blue leather, representing the traditional colours of Paul’s native Scotland, with a saltire to match. At the top of the boots, Paul’s the words ‘Happy Birthday’ in Chinese characters were printed, plus to give the boots an extra special twist, a large tiger was appliqued onto the side, denoting Paul was born in the year of the tiger under the Chinese calendar. Coincidentally, 2010 is also a tiger year, meaning Paul will have a unique memento of this birthday.

Paul said, ‘I was really touched to get the boots from the team as both they and Alpinestars have given them a lot of thought and time to design and make. To drive an F1 car on my birthday is also one of the best presents I could get.’

In our defense, Todd and I — as the resident male Americans on the staff — thought “bespoke” referred to the funny way that Paul, Andy and Mark speak. Turns out, no. It’s more like “super tailor made.”

So, sorry Grace for not getting you fancy driving shoes for your birthday. Not to mention not coming through with a real live Jenson Button.

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