Di Resta sympathises with Bianchi

2013 F1 season

Paul di Resta, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Paul di Resta sympathised with Jules Bianchi and congratulated Adrian Sutil on returning to Force India as his team mate.

Bianchi drove for Force India during nine practice sessions last year and has driven their new car twice in testing. But the team chose to re-hire former drivers Sutil for 2013.

“I welcome Adrian back, I said whoever the team choose I’ll be very supportive,” said Di Resta. “Jules was very close to us as well and you’ve got to feel a little bit sorry for where he is.”

“But I think Adrian, we’ve worked well together, we’re good friends, we’ll work our way together, we’ll push the team on. The board have taken the decision he’s they right person they want to represent Sahara Force India.

“The good relationship will start from where it left off in 2011. But at the end of the day it is competitive and I want to come out on top.”

Despite the uncertainty over its driver line-up having an effect on who has driven the VJM06, Di Resta is encouraged by the progress the team has made with it:

“I think we’re further forward at this point than we were last year. So I think that’s a positive to take.”

“But [we’re] fully focused on making it faster because we’ve still got three days ahead of ourselves before the car gets shipped to Melbourne. That’s when it counts and that’s where we need to arrive in good shape, likely to pounce upon the attack from our midfield competitors.”

He added the car would not be radically changed between now and the first race of the season:

“There’s things slowly going on the car but essentially I think this is the car we’ll be racing in Melbourne, what we arrived here with. We’re looking to maximise what we can from that.

“I think that’s something we did last year – rather than get carried away with upgrades coming let’s understand the package we’ve got and slowly but surely introduce things that are going to benefit it in the right way.”

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39 comments on Di Resta sympathises with Bianchi

  1. Dev (@dev) said on 1st March 2013, 11:05

    Bianchi should work hard to get ready for F1… he is talented and will shine when given an opportunity.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2013, 11:06

    I guess it must be a bit strange for Di Resta too, not knowing who will be in the other car for this long. And I fully get what he means by saying that its a bit sad for Bianchi to be passed over by a driver the team dropped after 5 years because they could get a better one!

  3. Fernando Cruz said on 1st March 2013, 11:12

    Last year Hulkenberg had all the right conditions to perform and was beaten by Di Resta in the first half of the season only because he had less experience. Now Sutil won’t have the good conditions Hulkenberg had last year, as he was out for a year and lost the first tests with the new car. So don’t expect him to do what even Hulkenberg didn’t to in the first half of 2012. I’d say the same whover had won the Force India seat (Bianchi, Senna or Kobayashi…)

    I think this would be the right time for Bianchi to be promoted. In 2014 Bottas and Gutierrez will have one year of experience as race drivers, so Williams and Sauber will have an advantage over Force India on driver line up if Bianchi is promoted. So maybe the french will be just another wasted talent, at least in F1…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2013, 11:18

      Not sure I get your point about comparing Hulkenberg and Sutil there Fernando. After all, Hulkenberg was out of racing a year before he got the drive just as Sutil was now a year out of it, I don’t see “all the right conditions” for either of them.
      And then, as you write, Hulkenberg had a bit of a slow start, so what exactly is it that we should or should not expect? You mean beating or not beating Di Resta?

      • Fernando Cruz said on 1st March 2013, 14:20

        I meant we should not expect him to beat Di Resta, mainly in the first half of the year. Yes, the conditions are not that different. Anyway I doubt Sutil can do better than Hulkenberg. Sutil was in Force India for 4 years and never came close to a podium, while Hulkenberg was close to winning a GP last year at Interlagos.

      • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 2nd March 2013, 6:02

        @bascb Though you are correct, I must retort and say that Hulkenburg did get to drive an F1 car more in his season off, than Sutil. So I wouldn’t say the conditions are the same, but I too didn’t fully understand the comparison

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd March 2013, 7:00

          @magillagorilla, yes, I admit that Hulkenberg had a bit of a better year out than Sutil, and he also had more of pre season testing. On the other hand Sutil knows the team very well already. So its not completely the same, but comparably not “perfect” though solid.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 2nd March 2013, 7:08

            @bascb I just don’t feel Sutil will have the same grasp and be beat by Di Resta for at least the first half due to mission out on some testing. Also with all the ups and downs that FI have had since he left I question if even VJM knows the team all that well much less Sutil with a year away. I hope it is solid for Force India’s sake, I have been hoping them to be upper mid field for years just to change things up but we’ll see.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd March 2013, 7:41

            Lets wait and see @magillagorilla. I agree that DiResta should have the advantage of more testing as well as continuity. On the other hand, from several reports I do get the impression that there is a new sense of purpose to Sutil (wanting to prove himself) that lacked there. Just think of the difference between Fisi in Spa 2009 who could have won it, be it for KERS, and Sutil gradually dropping back to 4th in Monza the same year. Fisi showed that mentality, that killer instinct, and with Sutil it was as if he himself couldn’t believe he had this chance.
            A bit of that could also be seen with Perez in Malaysia last season, but he got further and now would probably not make the same mistake again.

          • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 2nd March 2013, 11:22

            @bascb I see what you mean.

    • UKF1rules said on 1st March 2013, 12:26

      I think that Sutil will be on the pace straight away (he already is), as he is a top driver. he usually got the best out of force india, and was often fastest driver after the top teams drivers.

  4. andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st March 2013, 11:15

    I feel really sorry for Bianchi: things haven’t really come his way lately. He was charging or the WSR 3.5 title and was on course for actually becoming champion, before Frijns knocked him off the track and claimed the title himself. At least Bianchi was looking forward to that 2013 seat in a Force India, but then out of nowhere Adrian Sutil snatched it from right under his nose. I really don’t know what will happen to him this year, but I hope it won’t be Marussia: another year in the WSR would maybe be the best way to go and hope for a phone call from Maranello in the near future.

    • andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st March 2013, 18:01

      Unfortunately, it looks like Bianchi will drive for Marussia next year.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2013, 19:56

      @andae23 – I actually think the opportunity Marussia have given him could be very beneficial: it will give him some valuable experience and, provided he isn’t “lost in the crowd” so to speak he has a great opportunity at landing a good seat for 2014, maybe even in a Ferrari.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st March 2013, 20:47

        @vettel1 My biggest concern is that the ‘new teams’ haven’t been really succesful in bringing drivers into F1 who would solidly establish themselves in F1: d’Ambrosio, Senna, Di Grassi, Chandhok, Karthikeyan, Klien, Yamamoto… I’m afraid Bianchi will be easily overlooked.

        And another thing: if Massa does leave Ferrari at the end of 2013, Bianchi will have one year of experience, and we know that Perez with 2 season was turned down by Ferrari for not being experienced enough. So Ferrari will choose someone like Hulkenberg, and it will take at least two years before either of them will leave the Scuderia again; will Bianchi survive in F1 that long?

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2013, 21:00

          @andae23 – that is my only main concern: he may have to pull off something remarkable in that car to grab the attention of the higher up the field teams. He does have one distinct advantage over some if those you have mentioned though in that he is actually a good driver!

          • andae23 (@andae23) said on 1st March 2013, 21:11

            @vettel1 Indeed! I hope he somehow lands at a team like Sauber next year…

          • John (@johnmyburgh) said on 1st March 2013, 23:04

            Well Vettle did in a Torro Rosso and at a drivers circuit like Monoco in the rain.. you never know :)

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 2nd March 2013, 12:37

            @johnmyburgh – Vettel I have to admit though did have a midfield car in his Toro Rosso days, Bianchi has a backmarker. So I wouldn’t be expecting him to pull out many (if any) points finishes, but for sure I expect some very decent drives from him.

        • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2013, 21:15

          @andae23 – you never know, he could replace the losing driver at Force India next year: they made it quite clear they were intending to give him a seat in 2014. In a dream world though, he could go to Ferrari – I think Hulkenberg might have something to say about that though!

  5. Bendanarama (@bendana) said on 1st March 2013, 11:19

    Has anyone heard what Bianchi is doing now? One of he things that’s irritated me about this whole endeavour is that potentially it means guys like Bianchi won’t be able to get a race drive for this season.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st March 2013, 11:38

      today his manager “can’t comment” on questions about that, I think he was being asked about either the Marussia seat possibly open and a third driver role at FI

    • Girts (@girts) said on 1st March 2013, 12:15

      According to Motorsport Aktuell, he is actively talking to Marussia and might drive the car tomorrow (Kovalainen could take over on Sunday).

    • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 1st March 2013, 12:38

      I’m sure Ferrari couldl stick him in a GT car to keep his eye in and then offer Marussia a cheap engine deal for next year if they take him.

      Its a hard life being blessed enough to be part of the Ferrari young driver programme and on the periphery of F1. I really feel sorry for him the poor lad!

      Don’t worry too much about Jules, he probably will end up in F1 as Ferrari appear hellbent on it and if somehow he doesn’t he has proven himself well enough to earn a living from racing cars of some description. Yeah, what a bleak future for the lad! Not!

      • Bendanarama (@bendana) said on 1st March 2013, 13:02

        That’s not really the point though, is it mate. as we all know, a year out of driving is an eternity – just look at the questions over Sutil himself. If it’s too late to find a drive, then that can put the stoppers to any driver – especially a young driver.

        I honestly think there should be the Equivalent of a ‘transfer deadline’ for F1. Obviously if something like the Razia situation for Marussia came up then there would be exceptions made, but I think a deadline for teams to announce there drivers would be better than the current silly season.

        • Bendanarama (@bendana) said on 1st March 2013, 13:06

          God, sorry for the whole “mate” stuff there. wasn’t trying to be rude, I was only half concentrating when I wrote the comment!

        • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 1st March 2013, 15:18

          No worries. I think the questions over Sutil are entirely justified because of his ordinary performances to date. He’s never going to light up the paddock because he just isn’t special so to say FI chose him over Bianchi kind of leads part of me to think that Bianchi might be better placed in a GT car. Fair enough that young talent should get a chance etc but FI have a proven record of doing just that and then promoting 3rd drivers to race seats on merit. Perhaps the merit was not there sufficiently to outweigh a few dollars and a safe pair of hands. Lets face it, the guy got some golden opportunities last year in free practice and the YDT for both Ferrari and FI but no-one took a punt on the lad. Says it all to me.

  6. He sympathasises with Bianchi and now he knows that he has to work really hard to retain his f1 seat

    • Klaas (@klaas) said on 1st March 2013, 14:29

      I don’t think Paul sympathises at all with the man who could take his seat next year and probably will ‘steal’ some free practices from him this season.
      But I guess he had to say something nice in front of of the cameras.

  7. Wolfgang (@amadeus) said on 1st March 2013, 14:21

    Facebook.com: “Adrian Sutil completed 42 laps on a track that started really wet and dried out as the day went on; the 30-year-old set the fastest time on intermediate tyres before the switch to slicks, and then proceeded to set a 1:26.152 to close the morning in 2nd place, a mere 0.2s behind Jenson Button’s McLaren.”
    Keith, how about that?

    • coefficient (@coefficient) said on 1st March 2013, 15:22

      Sutil is the only one out there with something to prove so he will have been going for it whereas the rest of them will be calmly working through their test schedule not giving a damn about lap times as long as they don’t wreck the car and get the miles in.

  8. Kimi4WDC said on 1st March 2013, 16:20

    Di Resta is so going to get destroyed this season :(

    • Average Midfield Driver Di Resta destroyed by Average midfield Driver Sutil? I don’t really see any of them outclassing the other. Probably DiResta can start the year better for the continuous driving against Sutil’s “sabatical” time, but besides that and eventually they will be matched.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2013, 20:00

      I think Di Resta really has to convincingly beat Sutil for him to justify his place in F1. I think perhaps he is better than we give him credit for though; Hulkenberg is a very good driver yet Di Resta was a match for him until he “lost the boil” towards the end of the season, so he should be able to get the better of Sutil now he has the experience. I don’t think anyone will be “destroying” each other though sadly, as much as Di Resta needs to destroy Sutil.

  9. Dev (@dev) said on 1st March 2013, 20:13

    force india got a funny way of doing things, they waited for so long to announce their 2nd driver… now they are saying we will not bring upgrades and maximize what we have till who knows when. Definitely something is holding them back and maybe the team needs new owner or a big title sponsor.

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