Di Resta “disappointed” by top teams snub

F1 Fanatic round-up

Paul di Resta, Force India, Yas Marina, 2012In the round-up: Paul di Resta admits he was disappointed to be passed over for a move up the field during 2012.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Fired-up Di Resta desperate to break his podium duck in 2013 (The Scotsman)

“Of course it was flattering to be linked to those seats [at McLaren and Mercedes]. But I won?t deny I was disappointed when both teams opted to go down another route.”

2014 rules ‘urge team collaborations’ (Autosport)

Cyril Abiteboul: “It is a bit new to F1, because the teams also have to compete against each on the track, but I think the future will be about collaboration – and 2014 will urge us into considering more collaboration.”

2012: A mixed year for Indian motorsports (The Times of India)

“Two successful Formula One Indian Grands Prix might have put the country on the global motorsport map, but two deaths in the Mughal Rally brought into sharp focus the lop-sided development of the sport in the country.”

Comment of the day

@Girts names three more races you should have watched in 2012:

1. The DTM season finale at Hockenheim. It didn?t involve a lot of overtaking but offered a great race-long battle for the win and the title between Bruno Spengler and Gary Paffett, two of the very best touring car drivers in the world.

2. The GP2 Series sprint race at Spa. I saw it from the stands and saw some good passes and bad spins at the chicane. Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi, both title contenders, collided on the first lap and next year?s F1 rookie Max Chilton was out of contention, too. Josef Kral won his first ever GP2 race and Felipe Nasr overtook James Calado for second in the last metres before the chequered flag.

3. The WTCC Race of Austria at Salzburgring, race two. All three Chevrolet drivers suffered punctures in the last stage of the race and privateer Stefano d?Aste took an unexpected win.
@Girts

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On this day in F1

Philippe Etancelin was born on this day in 1896. He was one of the 21 drivers who took the start in the first ever world championship Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1950.

Driving a Talbot-Lago, he qualified 14th and finished in eighth place, though at the time points were only awarded to the top five finishers.

Etancelin started his final championship race at the age of 56 before retiring. He died in October 1981 in Paris.

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102 comments on Di Resta “disappointed” by top teams snub

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 0:07

    I’m not sure if McLaren or Sauber ever considered di Resta in the first place. McLaren were tight-lipped about it, of course, but I got the impression that they were considering Nico Hulkenberg before Paul di Resta. I never saw anything substantial linking di Resta to either seat. But even if they were considering him, I think both teams made the right choice in taking someone else.

    • mhop (@mhop) said on 28th December 2012, 0:38

      @prisoner-monkeys
      FYI it should read McLaren or Mercedes (not Sauber). Keith’s mistake.

      And regarding interest from McLaren, you obviously weren’t paying enough attention. I don’t have the direct quote but Whitmarsh admitted recently that di Resta was a major option for them but the fact he was from Scotland/UK actually played against him. They obviously felt like they had exhausted UK sponsors.

      Di Resta’s real option, though, I believe, was Mercedes. Indeed if Hamilton and his management team had not approached Mercedes I’m certain that Mercedes had di Resta in mind to replace Schumacher. Alas it didn’t happen. And now, given the nature of mid-field team/driver economics, I believe di Resta faces a major challenge to stay in the sport post 2013. The mid-field is a revolving door. And in the front-runners I don’t see many options for 2014? Maybe Perez’s seat will become available? Or as a longer shot perhaps Rosberg’s? Not much else. If Massa’s seat becomes available I think it’s something of an open secret that Hulkenberg is their first option…

      • Mike (@mike) said on 28th December 2012, 0:54

        To be honest, I think if Merc hadn’t brought in Hamilton, then Schumacher would have stayed.

      • Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 28th December 2012, 1:15

        Unfortunately for Paulie, Perez was second option for Mercedes, if luring Hamilton wouldn’t happen.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 3:35

        And regarding interest from McLaren, you obviously weren’t paying enough attention. I don’t have the direct quote but Whitmarsh admitted recently that di Resta was a major option for them but the fact he was from Scotland/UK actually played against him. They obviously felt like they had exhausted UK sponsors.

        I must have missed that one, but I’ve since gone back and read over Whitmarsh’s comments. I went to several sources, just in case anything was omitted by one or two articles. I also watched a couple of YouTube videos of interviews with him to get a feel for his speech patterns and mannerisms when speaking. After re-reading the comments, I’m left with the distinct impression that Whitmarsh was asked a direct question about di Resta and gave a non-answer that explained away the decision not to take di Resta whilst still telling the journalist what they wanted to hear. So I would not be surprised if di Resta was dismissed as a potential driver almost as soon as his name came up. Lewis Hamilton was always the team’s preferred choice for the seat, but if he left, Sergio Perez was the next-best alternative, followed by Nico Hulkenberg. Paul di Resta was probably fourth in line at best, and the only way he would have raced for McLaren would have been if they had to pick the best of a bad bunch the way they did with Heikki Kovalainen in 2008 because all of their preferred drivers were already taken.

        • @prisoner-monkeys You try very hard to present yourself as an armchair expert on this website but, I’m sorry, you are obviously remarkably ignorant about this subject.

          If you knew anything you would know that McLaren were influential in placing di Resta at Force India in 2010/11 with the obvious interest in developing him as a future team driver. In this context to say that he “was dismissed as a potential driver almost as soon as his name came up” is just ridiculous. They like all the other top teams will have been analysing his performances in great detail for the last two years.

          And I’m sorry but you could have saved yourself all of your YouTube “research”… Here’s the quote from Whitmarsh via f1.com in November 2012:
          “If you look around, who were the options? The options were Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg. We opted for Sergio Perez. We are a bit too British, so a bit of Latin blood will be quite interesting. (laughs)” … and FYI the interviewer never mentioned di Resta!

          The rest of what you said is pure conjecture. To be honest I find it very peculiar that you find such ill-informed and speculative ideas to be worth sharing with others.

        • Denis 68 said on 28th December 2012, 12:19

          “Whitmarsh admitted recently that di Resta was a major option for them but the fact he was from Scotland/UK actually played against him”

          Coming from Scotland/UK, has worked for him not against him. If Paul Di Resta was Italian like his surname would sugest, he never ever would have been seen anywhere near a Formula One Car.

          His Nationality has helped him big time.

          • how?

          • As a fellow Scotsman I’m very interested to know about this unique advantage we have to race in F1. Please tell me more.

          • Fernando Cruz said on 28th December 2012, 13:17

            British drivers always have an advantage (to have good opportunities in F1) over many other Nationalities, but in Di Resta’s case Mercedes was his main help to go to F1, as he was very good in DTM and the Germans supported him to find a seat in Force India. As now they need a very good driver for Mercedes in DTM, I wouldn’t mind if they called him back, as in DTM he was one of the best, while in F1 there are many other young drivers as good or better than him…

          • Denis 68 said on 30th December 2012, 3:34

            mhop

            British drivers make it easily into Formual One. Just look at Max Chilton, wins 2 GP2 races in three season’s and get’s an F1 seat, anyone that remotely follows GP2 will testify that this bloke can’t overtake to save his life (this shouldn’t be a problem driving for Marrussia though)

            Italian Driver’s on the other hand win titles and then are left to take up tap dancing as a way of earning a living. Davide Valsecchi, Giorgio Pantano GP2 Champions 2012 & 2008, Luca Filippi GP2 Runner Up 2011, Mirko Bortolotti F2 Champion 2011 & Kevin Ceccon Auto GP Champion 2011 all without a drive today.

            Let’s not even mention Edoardo Mortara who has won at Macau the the past 4 consecutive year’s and is a former Euro F3 Champion.

            I refer to my original quote that Paul Di Resta is very lucky that he is not an Italian Driver, if he was he would never have been seen anywhere near an F1 car.

            Sorry, but I can’t help but laugh when I hear all these story’s about Di Resta missing out on the McLaren drive because he’s British. I know numerous Italian Driver’s that wished they had Paul’s Passport.

            How can Di Resta be considered for a top F1 drive when he’s failed to beat any of his F1 team mates yet?

        • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 28th December 2012, 13:26

          I happen to agree with @prisoner-monkeys on this one @mhop. You appear to be very certain that Paul Di Resta has been done out of move which he should have had. The fact is that he performed well against Sutil and poorly against Hulkenburg. Considering, Sutil achieved next to nothing in five years in the sport and Hulkenburg is younger suggests PDR is probably never going to make it to a top team. I am also unsure of where the “McLaren were influential” quote comes from? To my mind it was Mercedes who were sculpting him into a Schumacher replacement given a) Michael was bound to retire in 2013 or 2014 and b) Paul raced with Mercedes in DTM. Realistically, McLaren would have been looking to replace Button but after 2011 that seemed ridiculously far-fetched. Since then he has been outperformed in the same machinery by one of his rivals for the seat.

          On the grounds of nationality, I hate when such things are brought into sport. If you are good enough you should be there. However, it is worth mentioning Hamilton only got the McLaren drive (or his chances were much improved) when Vodafone, Santander and mutua madrileña all joined McLaren with Alonso and did not want to limit their market only to Spain. This is the reason 2006 driver, De La Rosa never got the seat. Considering Abbey were bought out by Santander later in the year, this argument stands to reason.

          PS. I am Scottish.

          • I’m not at all saying that di Resta was done out of a move that he deserved. What I’m arguing is that @prisoner-monkeys is churlish to say that di Resta was never a serious contender for these drives. He most obviously was.

            As for di Resta’s McLaren support in 2010 and 2011: yes this definitely existed. When di Resta entered the sport it was acknowledged as a tri-party agreement between McLaren, Mercedes and Force India. The exact details were never made public but I think it was made quite obvious that Force India received technical assistance from McLaren in return for running di Resta.

            I’m a big supporter of di Resta but not a blinkered one. He still has a lot to prove in the sport. I do, however, think you risk exaggerating the extent to which he was outperformed by Hulkenberg. I studied the numbers in detail throughout the season and over the first 14 races di Resta had a distinct advantage in qualifying and race pace. Obviously something went quite seriously (and uncharacteristically) awry in the last six races, but I’m unsure if we’ll ever get the full details of that.

            2013 will be another big year.

          • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 28th December 2012, 15:58

            I understand where you are coming from, @mhop but I feel you are over-playing Di Resta’s part in all of this. As early as 2006, McLaren were rumoured to be buying Spyker with money from Abu Dhabi. The move never came to anything as the teams, quite rightly, felt that customer cars would be detrimental to the sport. McLaren also noted that both Ferrari (with Sauber) and Red Bull had teams which they were supplying parts to. In many cases, to the top teams advantage. Mclaren began their partnership with FI in 2009, long before Di Resta was involved in F1. I believe you are confusing McLaren with Mercedes here. The only link to McLaren that I can find with Paul is through Mercedes or through sensationalist media as soon as Di Resta began to challenge Sutil. With the possibility of a third team-mate in three years, Di Resta is going to have to beat them all season to even keep his seat, never mind look forward on the grid.

          • @rbalonso I can’t find direct quotes now but McLaren were definitely involved in placing di Resta at Force India. It wasn’t picked up by the media so much but he tested with McLaren in 2009 and I distinctly remember Whitmarsh describing his eventual opportunity at Force India as a three-party agreement between Mercedes, McLaren and Force India (as I said). Anyway… this is no longer a particularly significant argument. Go Paul in 2013!

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 22:36

            You appear to be very certain that Paul Di Resta has been done out of move which he should have had.

            No, I’m fairly certain that di Resta was never in contention for a move to a larger team to begin with.

          • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 29th December 2012, 2:34

            @prisoner-monkeys I’m agreeing with you, re-read it.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th December 2012, 3:26

            @rbalonso – Sorry. I logged in first thing this morning, but I’m a heavy sleeper and I’ve found that when I wake up, my mind is all foggy. So I read what you posted, but only comprehended about every other word you wrote.

            ——-

            @mhop

            What I’m arguing is that Prisoner Monkeys is churlish to say that di Resta was never a serious contender for these drives. He most obviously was.

            If he was as serious a conteder for those seats as you suggest, then why didn’t any of those teams take him?

            If you knew anything you would know that McLaren were influential in placing di Resta at Force India in 2010/11 with the obvious interest in developing him as a future team driver.

            The operative phrase here is “obvious interest in developing him”. That is by no means a guarantee of a drive at some point in the future. Di Resta was placed at Force India to assess his abilities. Two years of racing – some thirty-nine Grands Prix – should be enough time to come to a final conclusion on that assessment.

            All I can go by is what I would do if I were in Martin Whitmarsh’s position, needing to find someone to fill the seat vacated by Lewis Hamilton. And in Whitmarsh’s position, I would only consider di Resta for as long as it took me to say “no”. In fact, I would probably look at Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Nico Rosberg, Kamui Koabayshi, Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean before considering Paul di Resta. And I would probably look at James Calado, Felipe Nasr, (from GP2), Robin Frijn, Sam Bird, Kevin Magnussen, Kevin Korjus and Marco Sorenson (from Formula Renault 3.5) before looking at Paul di Resta.

          • Bernification (@bernification) said on 30th December 2012, 23:34

            On the grounds of nationality, I hate when such things are brought into sport. If you are good enough you should be there. However, it is worth mentioning Hamilton only got the McLaren drive (or his chances were much improved) when Vodafone, Santander and mutua madrileña all joined McLaren with Alonso and did not want to limit their market only to Spain.

            Are you trying to tell us that Hamilton only got a seat at McLaren if it were not for Alonso, despite RD having funded him from before his teens? And if you think nationality has no bearing on who gets a seat I’m afraid that I have no idea what planet you are living on. Next you will be telling me that money has no bearing either, and these drivers are really the best in the world, and not the best of the rich boys club.

    • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 28th December 2012, 3:57

      I’ll admit, I haven’t paid too much attention to di Resta since his debut. Maybe it’s because where I live, the media don’t make a habit out of exaggerating his potential or making him out to be a favourite. Maybe it’s because, other than a few occasions leading the race, and his career best finish, he hasn’t had as many truly “standout” performances as comparable drivers like Hulkenberg, Perez and Maldonado.

      Considering the times when he has performed, I am sure di Resta has talent. However, if what Prisoner Monkeys says, is true:

      that his engineers find it difficult to work with him because he doesn’t listen to advice and will waste time trying to make a bad set-up work when he should abandon it and start over

      Then I agree the top teams made the right decision to pick others over him. He is a driver in need of further seasoning before he’s ready for a top seat.

    • lewymp4 (@lewymp4) said on 28th December 2012, 17:40

      Paul’s age may have been a problem for Mclaren. I seem to remember reading that Whitmarsh felt that was a reason for picking the 22 year old Perez, opposed to a 27 year old DiResta. Perez being supported by the richest man in the world couldn’t hurt!

  2. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 28th December 2012, 0:08

    Usually here I would make some comment about di Resta being over rated, but to be fair to him, nothing about his comment suggests that he feels entitled to have a top seat, just that he wants one.

    • Cornflakes (@cornflakes) said on 28th December 2012, 0:19

      @magnificent-geoffrey Yeah I want one too and was also disappointed when they went down other routes :D

      • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 28th December 2012, 1:53

        @cornflakes with a toy car inside every cereal box, surely you’d be a better option than some of the paying drivers, senna *cough* :P

        • Bruno (@brunes) said on 28th December 2012, 10:21

          Senna may not be what most consider a top driver. However, if you consider his short racing career that only really started when he was already a teenager, he hasn’t done too bad when keeping up with pace in the midfield.

          You probably think that he only made to F1 due to his name, and I would agree with you 100%. Still, we could say that he has a natural talent but unfortunately he lacked kart racing and other lower categories to shape and expand his skills. I see as if he was born to race, but when he was young he was forced to forget about and try something else.

          Sorry to make it so long. haha.

        • Fernando Cruz said on 28th December 2012, 12:08

          Paul Di Resta was better than Hulkenberg in the first half of the season but was clearly behind his team mate in the second half even in race pace, while Senna was level with Maldonado in race pace during the same period. Di Resta was in his second year of racing with his team to Hulkenberg’s first, while Senna was in his first to Maldonado’s second. Furthermore Di Resta had more track time, he didn’t lose 15 FP1, unlike Senna. So Senna has a lot more to offer with more experience and FP1 for himself and I can’t see how Di Resta is a better option than B. Senna for a top team (as they both need at least one or two years more in a midfiled team before being ready to drive for a top team). That was certainly true one year ago but Senna is improving more and can be a match for Di Resta if he gets the Force India drive! Both have a similar amount of talent but one tends to be overrated due to his age and nationality while the other tends to be underrated for the same reasons.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 28th December 2012, 0:25

      @magnificent-geoffrey he is overrated, though :P

      • mhop (@mhop) said on 28th December 2012, 0:41

        overrated by whom?

        • Mike (@mike) said on 28th December 2012, 0:56

          @mhop Judging by your disagreement, They might say yourself!

          I dunno, I just don’t think Di Resta has the potential of Hulkenburg.

        • Abdurahman (@) said on 28th December 2012, 4:06

          All British media
          He was made out to be the second coming of something last year anyways.

          • Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 28th December 2012, 5:42

            And he actually seemed exceptional at times, particularly at the beginning of the seasons and particularly on one lap. He was very sharp at the beginning of 2011 and 2012 as well, then curiously faltered in both year towards the end for reasons unknown for me. He particularly impressed me by beating Hulkenberg by the tiniest margin from race to race in qualifying early season.

            But all in all I agree that he seems to miss some minor, but essential piece to be a truly great driver. And Hulkenberg seems to have it – and not judging by only his last races, but also his patient 2011 and his freshman year as well.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 28th December 2012, 9:30

            @abdurahman

            All British media
            He was made out to be the second coming

            As a British person who runs an F1 website I feel obliged to point out how obviously wide of the mark this sweeping claim is. Di Resta had a very good debut season but even so I ranked him behind his team mate at the end of the year.

          • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 28th December 2012, 14:22

            @keithcollantine
            I think that by all British media, he was referring to the BBC; they might not have done it recently, but for some reason i can remember DC in particurlar singing his praises a little to often for my liking.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 1:04

      And if this was the only time he had commented, I would agree with you. But looking at all of his comments over the season, I think it’s quite apparent that he feels that way. He’s like the Australian Olympic swimming team, ready to count their medals before they had even arrived in London. And look how that ended. It was an embarrasing disaster.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 28th December 2012, 2:52

        To be fair I have never read a comment from an F1 driver where they didn´t thought of themself as the last Coca Cola in the middle of a desert…

        And everyone of them, minus the one driving for the lower tie of the grip, think they deserve the best car/team…

        I do think that the media is in part to blame for Di Resta image as overrated, and I think Chilton will suffer the same… They pimped Di Resta and his dear cousin Franchitti is always going and going about how he could beat everybody

        “If you give Paul (pictured in action in the US) a car capable of performing at the front, he will win races and ultimately the world championship,” Franchitti said.

        “I think Paul has done a really fantastic job this season, and his Force India team have also done a very good job..”

        And Franchitti is in no doubt the reason his cousin was overlooked by McLaren and Ferrari for a prime seat next season had nothing to do with any perceived lack of talent.

        “I think money talked in a couple of those deals,” he said, clearly referring to Sergio Perez’s move to McLaren, and Ferrari’s decision to retain Felipe Massa.

        “I definitely think Paul has been unfortunate not to get one of the bigger drivers for 2013. I think there were a couple of the drives he’d have been absolutely perfect for.

        “People in the paddock know exactly what he’s capable of in any F1 car, but as we all know, there are times when money talks more than pure talent.”

        So in my opinion Di Resta problem are:
        High opinion from the media, that he hasn´t live up too (not his fault)
        Family with a big mouth (not his fault)
        Zero personality (not his fault)
        Being beated by his team mate, when he so clearly declared at the mid season he was going to defet (his fault)

        • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 28th December 2012, 4:03

          @celeste

          Zero personality (not his fault)

          Seriously? Whose to blame for that? God?

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 28th December 2012, 4:27

            @kingshark might be a shy person or that costs show their feelings, there are several mental illnesses, and physical make people have trouble showing emotions

          • Girts (@girts) said on 28th December 2012, 8:45

            @Kingshark @celeste People are who they are. You don’t have to like Di Resta but don’t expect him to joke all the time, quote samurai or post shirtless pictures of himself on Twitter just because that’s what you want. He has quite many fans, who are obviously satisfied with the combination of his driving & character. We can discuss his qualities as a driver and we can discuss if he makes a good ambassador of the sport or not but that’s something different. In my opinion, it’s weird to claim that he has ‘zero personality’ and it’s completely inappropriate to mention ‘mental illnesses’ in this regard.

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 28th December 2012, 9:42

            @girts sorry but I can´t respect a driver who doesn´t call himself a samurai :p …

            I do get your point, but as it has been pointed out in many discussion in this same site people like a character, and if Di Resta is your flavour of choice is yours of his fans perrogrative, but even the same Di Resta has admited that he isn´t popular because some people consider him boring and robotic, that this could have been a fact in the moment that a major team decided not to hired him… and he even went to say that he needs to work on that…

            And I´m not saying that he has a mental illness, just pointing out that in some cases people do have a physical reason for not being able to show emotion (and entired hit comedy was made around this idea with The Big Bang Theory)… but it might as well be just that the ambient while he grown up wasn´t an over emotional one, or any reason that we don´t know …anyway I still don´t think the fact that he is so inexpresive and shows “zero character” (IMHO) is not his fault…

          • Girts (@girts) said on 28th December 2012, 9:53

            @celeste Well, maybe I see it differently because I like his professional attitude and well-considered communication. I’m a guy who mostly (not always though) thinks before speaking myself… I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.

            Anyway, it’s all good. By the way, I really like your sense of humor (reg. the only Coca Cola bottle in a desert etc. :)

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 28th December 2012, 10:06

            @girts yeah, I guess we all have times were we wish we have thought before speaking, and my list of this moments is very long…

            To close our little Di Resta debate I will say I never have had a problem with his driving, and he is a capable one…maybe his parent did made a point to teach him that if he didn´t have anything good to say you better not say it…

            And thanks ;)… I always like your well thought comments and how impartial they are :)

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 4:10

          To be fair I have never read a comment from an F1 driver where they didn´t thought of themself as the last Coca Cola in the middle of a desert…

          Perhaps, but di Resta seems to take things to an extreme. See my previously-cited example where he explains away his qualifying problems in Austin by paying hmself a massive compliment:

          “I’m still struggling to get the tyres working. I have quite a smooth driving style so maybe that’s why I haven’t been able to switch them on as well as Nico, who has a more aggressive approach.”

          Jenson Button is often cited as having one of the smoothest – if not the smoothest – driving styles in Formula 1. He only ever turns the wheel as much as he needs to and he lets the power of the car naturally push itself out of the corners. But if you watch an on-board video with di Resta, you’ll see that he’s constantly making adjustments to his steering wheel. Where Button picks his racing line early on and lets that determine his speed through the corner, di Resta steams in and lets his speed determine his racing line. Now, neither driving style is better than the other because a driver’s style is the approach that he feels most comfortable with – we’ve all seen Alonso wrestle a car through a corner by the scruff of its neck and take pole with it – but to call di Resta’s driving style “quite smooth” is categorically wrong. In comparison to someone like Lewis Hamilton, who attacks every kerb, yes, di Resta is quite smooth. But if Hamilton and Button are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of aggression versus smoothness, then di Resta is a whole lot closer to Hamilton than he is to Button.

          His comments in Austin serve as a perfect example of his trying to explain away his problems and make himself out to be someone who it at the top of every team principal’s shopping list when the driver market opens up. If you look at this results, his worst performances came in the last six races of the season. He came twelfth in Japan, South Korea and India, picked up two points in Abu Dhabi, then finished fifteenth in America and crashed out (and was ultiamtely classified nineteenth) in Brazil. I don’t think it’s coincidence that his results nosedived once McLaren signed Sergio Perez (who, admittedly, had an equally-poor run over the same six races). He was visibly over-driving the car at times, and there was no sign of the driver who came fourth in Singapore and sixth in Bahrain. I think he’d been lobbying hard to get the McLaren seat (or, more likely, letting the media sing him praises), but when someone else took it, he realised that what he had done was not enough to move up in the world, and over-compensated.

          • Oli Campbell said on 28th December 2012, 14:11

            Ive got to agreed with a lot of these comments here. All drivers need to think they are the best. You dont reach the top tier of motorsport thinking other people are better than you. That said however, keith excluded :-) , a lot of the British media have hyped him up to the max, and seemed as if he took a huff when he didnt get a new deal. What im wondering about it why is his place still TBA for 2013??
            Also, It was only at the very end of the year his good old pal eddie jordan started saying Hulkenburg had outclassed him etc. I suppose, in my case anyway, its frustrating watching the F1 sometimes as you feel really good drivers like the Hulk, sometimes don’t get the same media coverage as the local boys. Thats just for Britain though, its probably the same story in reverse over in Germany.

          • panache (@panache) said on 28th December 2012, 18:35

            I think you are excessively zealous in your dislike of Paul di Resta, especially this diatribe of yours concerning his driving style and a single comment made in Austin after qualifying. All of that is irrelevant conjecture quite frankly and I’d say it is you, not di Resta, who is taking things to the extreme in an attempt to critisise him based on a relatively insignificant comment.

            On a related note, nobody here seems to raise issue with the suggestion that Perez has a smooth driving style yet of all the drivers on the grid he is noticably one of the most aggressive with his steering inputs judging from onboards. It seems that people conveniently forget this when the combination of car, setup, driving style and track characteristics allows Perez to extract pace and efficiency from the Pirelli’s, instead labeling him as a smooth driver who will compliment Button’s driving style at Mclaren next year. If Perez can be considered a smooth driver, why shouldn’t di Resta?

            All that being said, it is interesting that di Resta’s performances were comparatively poor in the last 6 races of the season whilst Hulkenberg really came alive. Personally I think Hulkenberg was the better driver on balance this season and I would agree that the British media overhyped di Resta in the first half of the year which left a sour taste but ultimately he can’t be blamed for the opinions of others.

  3. mantolwen (@mantolwen) said on 28th December 2012, 0:14

    Also: Jim Clark won the 1963 South African Grand Prix at East London on this day (and a year before that took pole at the 1962 South African GP)

  4. Slr (@slr) said on 28th December 2012, 0:17

    Di Resta’s performances dipped after McLaren announced Perez as Hamilton’s replacement. I do wonder if Di Resta can clear his mind for next season, so that his performances improve. He certainly won’t make it to the top if he continues the form he showed at the end of this year.

  5. GeorgeTuk (@georgetuk) said on 28th December 2012, 0:29

    I know F1 is all about winning but at some point you need a personality and while he is better now than when he entered Di Resta really needs to be more media friendly, not media interview friendly. Sometimes he just dourly recites what he has done as it we watched on SkyPad with no emotion, maybe he isn’t emotional but he needs to do something.

  6. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 28th December 2012, 0:29

    The most surprising aspect of the article was that DiResta’s car had a problem after Singapore and they had changed the monocoque and eventually the chassis. I’m shocked it wasn’t mentioned anywhere or I just plain simply missed it.

    If that IS indeed true then it doesn’t bode well for Hulkenberg who was slightly outperformed by DiResta until his car started having issues after Singapore.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to look good in F1 is for your teammate to be having the absolute worst time. Look at Massa in 2012 and Hamilton in 2011. Ideally your teammate’s car would suffer from a flat tire every single race and that would elevate anyone to Fangio-like levels:-)

    • SatchelCharge (@satchelcharge) said on 28th December 2012, 1:00

      I remember hearing about it – I don’t think it improved his pace a whole not, so not much was made of it.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th January 2013, 8:36

        No it did not do anything to improve his results really, the team just proved to him that the part missing something was the driver. I think that its natural that DiResta had a bit of an advantage early in the season, while Hulkenberg had to get back into a racing rithm.

        But surely comparing both, Hulkenberg has improved on himself, while Di Resta has stalled at a certain level.

  7. GT_Racer said on 28th December 2012, 0:43

    I’ve always thought that the way Di Resta is viewed by people in & outside teams he’s raced for was confusing.

    The teams he’s driven for all rave about how good he is, The engineer’s praise his technical ability & his ability to get the maximum out the car. His past team mates also all speak very highly of his ability & how easy he is to work with.

    However a decent chunk of the fans & also a lot of the other teams often see him as over-rated & he’s been over-looked in favor of other drivers more than once through his career.

    • SatchelCharge (@satchelcharge) said on 28th December 2012, 1:30

      To speak for fans, I think it goes back to what George was saying about Di Resta’s image in the media. It’s sort of nonexistent with his reserved style, plus one too many comments about the victimizing circumstances he faces, people are quick to judge.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 2:25

      The teams he’s driven for all rave about how good he is, The engineer’s praise his technical ability & his ability to get the maximum out the car. His past team mates also all speak very highly of his ability & how easy he is to work with.

      That’s funny, because I’ve heard the exact opposite about him.

      • celeste (@celeste) said on 28th December 2012, 2:55

        I haven´t heard anything, can you post links please…

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 3:19

          I don’t have a link, because it wasn’t posted on the internet. It was in Auto Action (I think), a kind of all-encompassing motoring and motorsports newspaper here in Australia. I can’t remember the exact date because it was months ago, but it was around the time that Lewis Hamilton’s future was being debated. The article weighed up possible replacements if he left, and named di Resta as a potential candidate, but said that his engineers find it difficult to work with him because he doesn’t listen to advice and will waste time trying to make a bad set-up work when he should abandon it and start over. The article didn’t name or quote anyone, but given what I’ve seen and heard from di Resta, I would not be surprised if it was true.

          The same article did claim that Sergio Perez was only an outside chance to replace Hamilton, but also pointed out that he can be very erratic at times and over-drive the car, which a lot of people believe he has done since signing with McLaren.

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 28th December 2012, 4:48

            Thanks for the info, this kind of thing will be a good reason for a big team not to hire him

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 5:05

            @celeste – Well, I can’t say that this is 100% accurate. I’m trying to recall an article that was written fourth months ago and which I don’t have ready access to, so it’s entirely possible that I’ve gotten every single detail from it wrong. And even if I’ve recalled it perfectly, the article still didn’t name or quote anyone from within the team. It may even have been an opinion piece; it only stuck out in my mind because of all the attention everyone was giving the Hamilton situation. Nevertheless, I do recall reading an article in print form which said that Paul di Resta’s engineers and mechanics find him difficult to work with. I’d be very interested to see these comments from the team that rave about di Resta’s technical proficiency that GT_Racer mentioned, particularly if someone has gone on the record about it.

          • Girts (@girts) said on 28th December 2012, 9:08

            @prisoner-monkeys Will Buxton has mentioned it, too:

            Paul di Resta? A lot of people would seem to think he’d be a shoe in. He’s not universally popular at Force India, and is considered difficult to work with.

            However, I would need more proof or a similar opinion from someone like James Allen or Edd Straw to believe it, currently I treat it as just a rumour.

          • Girts (@girts) said on 28th December 2012, 9:20

            Talking about Di Resta’s attitude, this radio message was actually much more interesting:

            http://twitter.com/f1fanaticlive/status/269478615387885569

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 9:25

            @girts – I suppose a lot depends upon your definition of “difficult to work with”. Is a driver “difficult to work with” because he is a perfectionist who holds everyone in the team to the same standard that he does himself, and is unaware of personal commitments (such as a family) that might affect someone’s ability to do their job? Or is he “difficult to work with” because he is lazy and temperamental, ignoring advice from his engineers and then abusing them when his performance suffers from it, refusing to take responsibility for his actions? The phrase “difficult to work with” can describe both those drivers, but they couldn’t be more different to one another.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 9:42

            @girts

            Talking about Di Resta’s attitude, this radio message was actually much more interesting:

            The more I think about it, the more I wonder – have you ever heard di Resta openly criticise someone? Have you ever heard him say, for instance, “We wanted to do two flying laps at the end of Q2, but we made a mistake in calculating the outlap time and could only manage one lap”? I can’t. He’d probably say something like “We wanted to do two flying laps at the end of Q2, but I ran into traffic on my outlap [without mentioning who, of course] and we could only manage one lap instead”.

            When the team asked him to discuss the balance of the car, he would know that there was a chance it would be broadcast on the Sky feed – and that other teams would hear it. It’s like he is reluctant to criticise anyone for fear that doing so would spoil his chances of racing with a top team. Even when that criticism is not only justified, but necessary. Can you imagine what he would have been like if he had been at McLaren this year when the team was plagued with pit incidents?

          • Girts (@girts) said on 28th December 2012, 10:10

            @prisoner-monkeys I would need to review his quotes to be sure but I think it’s not like he doesn’t give any feedback at all. I don’t think that any team is really afraid of that. Sometimes Button gets criticised here for ‘whining’ on team radio but that is no whining, telling that your rear tyres are finished is just normal feedback and McLaren clearly see it the same way, too.

            However, I believe that di Resta thinks about the impact of his behaviour and what he says a lot. There is a video of him receiving an Autosport award in 2004 (he was 18 then) and you can see that he’s really nervous. I also vividly remember another video of him, the one from the inside of his car right after he had crossed the finish line in the last race of 2010 and won the DTM title. Even his joyful gestures seemed to be controlled and well-considered, no spontaneous reactions.

            I truly appreciate these qualities but it’s possible that they might disturb his work with the team in one way or another, too.

        • http://willthef1journo.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/just-how-silly-is-the-silly-season/
          WB: Paul di Resta? A lot of people would seem to think he’d be a shoe in. He’s not universally popular at Force India, and is considered difficult to work with. But he is fast and would no doubt work well at McLaren.

          http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/10/tied-up-in-knots-over-vettel-to-ferrari/
          JA: HULK is a very laid back character, works hard, good sense of humour, doesn’t get too worked up about things. DIR is more sullen and not everyone at Force India enjoys working with him.

  8. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 28th December 2012, 0:49

    I honestly think that Barrichello could do very well as an F1 driver coach/mentor to some of these younger drivers. Like Toto Wolff is at Williams.
    Could be a good prospect if he isn’t going to be racing next year.

    • Bosley (@bosley) said on 28th December 2012, 9:44

      Barrichello is doing Brazilian stock car racing next year.

    • Bookoi (@bookoi) said on 28th December 2012, 10:03

      I still think that had he continued, Rubens would still make a good F1 driver. Its such a shame he lost his seat when he did because I suspect he’d have performed strongly in the early part of 2012, before the tyres were truly understood by the teams. I’m sure he’d have scored more points than Senna, too.

      Though as a big fan of Rubens, I might be biased…

  9. Armchair Expert (@armchairexpert) said on 28th December 2012, 1:10

    But I don’t want to luck-in to a podium. For me, it has to be a well-earned top-three finish, one which we can build on. We need to do it on merit, and I certainly believe it’s achievable.

    di Resta, I’m sure you also wouldn’t want to take a win in circumstances like Kovalainen did, when two of potential winners had problems, right? Because podium or win like this is surely not satysfying for you and even more so for your team, which had so much success over the years (jaw dropping number of podium appearances – 1 in 93 races).

    “I’m a cowboy, on a high horse I ride…….”

    I thought this parody was over the top, but after reading such illuminating quotes, it seems spot on.

  10. Well if you look at the points, di Resta has been outperformed twice out of two seasons by two different teammates. The fault does not lie with di Resta’s ability, but it lies with his attitude, possibly attributed to the fact that he’s been pressurised to be the next big thing. I’ve seen similar things happen to a fellow Scotsman Andy Murray, but he’s managed to break out of that. Di Resta is thinking too much about big teams, that is because he believes that he’s the best…but he isn’t. I can understand naturally gifted drivers like Senna and Schumacher thinking like that but not PdR. He should just concentrate on his driving and maximising his performance and should just let his driving do the talking. Next year, he’ll most probably be paired with Sutil or Bianchi, the former out of racing for a year, the latter a rookie. If he cannot outperform one of them, then I’ll say he’s finished. But I won’t say anything now.

    • That`s th crucial point, di Resta has been outperformed by his teammate in each of his two seasons in F1, it will take something special for him to get into a top team with that track record.

      You could argue that being beaten by Sutil in 2011 was no big deal as di Resta was a rookie and Sutil has always been highly rated as a driver. But di Resta talks about himself as one of the exceptional drivers and consider himself to be on par with the best in the business. I`m sorry to say, the other top young drivers have not been beaten by their experiences team mates with such a big margin di Resta was beaten by Sutil. But di Resta was still in the running after the 2011 season and several teams took notice of him.

      But then came 2012 and Hulkenberg. In the first half of the season Hulkenberg was rusty and was getting to know the car, but he wasn`t far off. When Hulkenberg found his groove there was no contest, it was clear to everyone who had the biggest potential.

      Di Resta has indeed been unlucky when it comes down to teammates. One must remember that Sutil was expected to land a drive for a top team for years, the one problem he had was his attitude. He did what he had to do and beat his teammates, but he didn`t seem to have the motivation to be on top of his game all the time. Hulkenberg is probably a future WDC with a massive potential. He`s shown that in every series he`s attended and in both his two seasons in F1. No wonder di Resta has been beaten by his teammates!

      But di Resta consideres himself to be the best, and if that is the case he has to beat these guys. For now I think many young drivers on the grid are more highly rated than di Resta. The names include Vettel, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Perez and Maldonado. With all these guys aiming for top teams plus the vetarans Alonso, Button, Raikkonen and Webber doing the same and a limited number of top teams I think di Resta is facing an uphill struggle. He needs some great results to get his career back on track, otherwise he`ll remain in the midfield wondering whether he`ll have a drive next year.

  11. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 28th December 2012, 4:00

    Di Resta is good, but is he really McLaren/Ferrari/or Mercedes good ? I mean, let’s be frank here.

  12. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th December 2012, 5:00

    In other news, Pastor Maldonado is now married.

  13. Dev (@dev) said on 28th December 2012, 5:52

    di Resta can only get better from here, he lost the plot after Singapore. He has shown pace in odd races but he needs to learn a few tricks about getting the car to work for him. He has had relatively low incident pron compared to the other drivers with 2 years of experience in F1. Hype about him is at times annoying but so is the unfair criticism of him. He will be stronger in 2013 with VJM06.

  14. I’m not sure Oliver Webb deserves a return to FR3.5. His first season was disastrous, he was outperformed by teammate Nick Yelloly who participated in only three rounds. His Indy Lights campaign also wasn’t impressive, outperformed by all three of his teammates.
    I’m sure Vandoorne will wipe him next season, but while the Belgian has earned his seat, the Briton has not, and I hope Fortec realise that by the initial rounds and drop him. Of course, if by some miracle he does well, then he should stay.

  15. Girts (@girts) said on 28th December 2012, 7:47

    COTD, that’s so cool! So many great memories from 2012!

    Come to think of it, I would really love to watch some non-F1 race from the stands in 2013, just need to find the money and convince someone else to come with me… By the way, both Salzburg and Heidelberg (20 km from Hockenheim) are great places to visit.

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