Di Resta ‘could be champion in a Red Bull’ – Fernley

F1 Fanatic round-up

Paul di Resta, Force India, Bahrain, 2013In the round-up: Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley believes Paul di Resta could be a world champion in the right car:


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

‘Paul could be a Champion’ (Sky)

Fernley: “Absolutely, there is no reason why he and a number of others would not have as well, but certainly Paul could.”

The Finishing Line – with Force India?s Paul di Resta (F1)

“The most memorable overtaking move of my career was…
PdR: It was a move I made in DTM at turn ten of the Formula One track in Barcelona, passing Timo Scheider. It was in 2008 and it was a change for the championship and a pass for the lead of the race.”

McLaren deny Dennis demotion (BBC)

“Asked whether there was any doubt that he would stay at McLaren until at least the end of his current contract, Dennis said: ‘Categorically, that is exactly what is going to happen – unless I request for it to be changed, and I don’t intend to. I couldn’t work any harder than I am on a variety of things.'”

Honda, Toyota F1 interest ‘unimaginable’ (Crash)

Renault Sport F1 managing director Rob White: “The first project meetings were held four years ago, and the interest was great, with Audi, Cosworth, Ilmor, Honda, Toyota, Mecachrome and others [present]. However, as it got more specific, only PURE was left, and now it’s only us three.”

Analysis: Raised Rear Wishbones (ScarbsF1)

“For 2013, almost every team have taken the same approach pioneered by Red Bull in 2012, by raising the rear lower wishbone.”

Siffert and Rodriguez (MotorSport)

“Boots were on different feet now. BRM was Pedro?s patch, having driven for it in 1968 and scored in 1970 ?ǣ at his beloved Spa ?ǣ its first GP win for four years. It was Pedro who chatted affably with the mechanics and Jo who remained aloof.”


Comment of the day

Does IndyCar now have less artificial racing than F1?

I?ve said a few times recently and stick by it today that in terms of the ??racing?, IndyCar has been better and way more exciting to watch than F1 since they introduced the current car.

There?s no silly gimmicks like DRS (So all passing in IndyCar is exciting to watch unlike F1), no tyres that wear in six laps (so drivers can push and race hard), it’s just pure, hard fought racing which overall is way more enjoyable and exciting to watch than anything F1’s managed to do in the DRS/Pirelli era.

I?ve been going to the F1 race at Montreal since the early eighties, This year I won?t be going but will be going to the IndyCar races at Toronto and Belle Isle.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to El Gordo!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Antonio Felix da Costa, Helmut Marko, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2013Happy birthday to Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko who is 70 today.

Marko’s F1 career came to an untimely end in his ninth start, the 1972 French Grand Prix, when a stone kicked up by another car pierced his visor and blinded him in one eye.

Marko began guiding the career of upcoming fellow Austrian driver Helmuth Koinigg, until his death at Watkins Glen in 1974. Marko later ran F3 and F3000 teams before running Red Bull’s Driver Development programme and helping Sebastian Vettel to his current position at the pinnacle of the sport.

However the abrupt dismissals faced by several other drivers on the scheme and Marko’s undisguised contempt for Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber have made him a less than popular figure.

Images ?? Force India, Red Bull/Getty

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174 comments on Di Resta ‘could be champion in a Red Bull’ – Fernley

  1. Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 27th April 2013, 1:06

    I’m sorry to say this but PDR is still raw. It’s easy to see that he has taken a qualitative leap compared to last year, which is good. But he is no where near Vettel’s level in my opinion. Not now anyway. Vettel may be berated by the Sky/BBC people and his rivals HAM/ALO, but few can deny his consistent speed and versatility in adapting to the need of the hour. And I’m not even a fan.

    What I’m trying to say is, put Vettel in the FI and he’ll probably do way better than PDR or Sutil. Put PDR in the RB and we’ll see performances along the line of Webber.

    • sdtaylor91 (@sdtaylor91) said on 27th April 2013, 2:00

      I agree, Di Resta is decent, but he’s never delivered a mind blowing or totally unexpected race result or quali lap, he hasn’t beaten a team mate yet …

      … Perez has delivered the podiums last year, Hulk has been on pole and led races, Maldonado with that win and some frankly amazing quali laps, we haven’t seen those kind of performances from Di Resta yet

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 27th April 2013, 16:04

      @sankalp88 – What? Versatility is the one thing Vettel doesn’t have! Vettel has a driving style that is so hugely reliant on the rear downforce Newey’s cars, that when its not there he isn’t either. Remember Oz, Malaysia and China last year? It was difficult to remember that Vettel was on the track. That is because, as described beautifully in an excellent edition of Autosport a few weeks back, Vettel prefers to enter a corner without a huge amount of speed, but then boots the throttle, often before he gets to the apex, rotates the car and hopes the rear downforce sorts the whole thing out. If you had put Vettel in an early spec of the F2012 and he’d been all over the place, so I think when the inevitable day comes and he doesn’t have the fastest car on track (although it hasn’t happened yet), he’ll struggle, because his driving style is so indicative of a driver that has always had a whole heap of downforce as a safety net. Compared to Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton are so much more versatile in the way that they feel and respond to every vibration from the car, which is why they will always be in my eyes the more complete drivers.

      • @william-brierty
        2012 OZ – P2 Malaysia P4 and Hassling Lewis Hamilton for P3 Before Getting Puncture with Narain, China P5 with Two Stop Strategy after starting P11. If you can’t see him on track that doesn’t mean he was Not racing.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 27th April 2013, 18:17

          @harsha – I’m not talking about results, I’m talking about pace. That fierce Vettelian pace was just not there, and he was even struggling to beat Webber. If look at his onboard qualy laps from those races, China especially, he just didn’t want to turn the car in/or put the power down in his normal suicidal manner because the downforce from the then illegal blown diffuser was not there. In Vettel’s own words, none of his “tricks” were working, he could not drive the early iteration of the RB8 as he wanted. I just know that we’ll see a similar below-par Vettel if he ever gets a car that isn’t as planted as those that he’s become used to.

          • magon4 (@magon4) said on 27th April 2013, 21:50

            red bull fastest car – that’s a laugh! if fastest, which it is surely not always, then by a small margin @william-brierty

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th April 2013, 22:18

            I’m talking about pace.

            Which he had plenty of in Melbourne and Malaysia 2012. He wasn’t beating Webber with his usual 30+ seconds but he was still fighting with the faster McLaren of Hamilton.

      • Yappy said on 27th April 2013, 17:32

        Vettel qualifies in Abu Dhabi 2012 in his prefered setup, has the fuel issue and is sent to the back. His setup is changed to be very aggressive. Using an untested setup he goes from pit to podium. That’s versatility for ya. Any of the other drivers do that?

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 27th April 2013, 18:50

          @Yappy – Well, Hamilton managed to claw his way up from last to 8th with a short 7th gear and a barn door of a rear wing on the back without safety cars and on a track that DRS was very ineffective on, so yes, other drivers can do that. Also Vettel’s “untested” setup goes as far as a longer 7th gear and a trimmed out downforce package, and if a driver can’t adapt to that quickly, then he’s in the wrong business.

          • @william-brierty – McLaren had the option of changing the set-up also, so either they are slightly idiotic and didn’t realise they could do that or they just didn’t feel it necessary.

            So obviously Hamilton had a good enough car for overtaking anyway that it wasn’t worthwhile sacrificing the opportunity to gain a few places at the start, assuming McLaren aren’t idiots.

          • Yappy said on 28th April 2013, 3:50


            Hamilton did not change his setup or driving style. Which makes that a poor counter-argument. Vettel did. Vettel went from Mr Corners to Mr Overtake. Two different styles over two days mean versatility. Which I have yet to see Alonso or Hamilton do.

        • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th April 2013, 12:07

          @vettel1 – Well this was the same weekend that they thought that loosing Hamilton’s fastest time and starting sixth if he couldn’t provide a fuel sample as opposed to stopping on track illegally and pathetically trying to argue force majore thus guaranteeing disqualification was a good idea, so idiocy was certainly in the air! McLaren obviously noted the fact that DRS was hopelessly ineffective at Barcelona and noted that starting on the grid where he would’ve made up positions on the start, would’ve been better than starting from the pitlane and getting caught up behind a whole load of backmarkers. This wasn’t a problem for Vettel, because of the efficiency of the two DRS zones in Yas Marina. Its not so much the fact that Hamilton was on a conventional setup that makes his performance impressive, because he needed the downforce for the two stopper, its that he managed to claw his way past his teammate on a track fabled for a lack of overtaking and without the safety cars that aided Vettel so efficiently.

          @Yappy – Hamilton was one of very few drivers to successfully do a two stop strategy, I’d call that an adjustment in driving style. Changing gear ratios and downforce levels are so normal in F1, especially during the exhaustive setup changes of winter testing, that the change would’ve been of little concern to Vettel. If you’ve never seen Alonso and Hamilton change styles, then you obviously didn’t watch the Bahrain Grand Prix, where Alonso lost round 60 points of rear downforce in the space of two corners, but never went off the track. That’s versatility in the extreme.

          • @william-brierty that’s the thing though, I remember a lot of passes happening at that Grand Prix! I can’t seem to find anywhere though a stat showing the number of overtakes (DRS and total number) so could you help with this @keithcollantine?

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th April 2013, 13:17

            @vettel1 – Really? I remember Alonso not being able to overtake Maldonado at one phase of the race, despite being much quicker. Hamilton the year before was also quicker than Vettel, but was unable to overtake because of the inadequacy of the DRS. Keith, however will be adjudicator, athough I cannot imagine how there could have been more overtakes during last year’s Spanish GP than the Abu Dhabi GP.

          • @william-brierty – that was more due to the fact both of them were very canny in maintaing a big enough gap going into the DRS zone to prevent an overtake being posisble there.

            I’ve found this which discusses the number of passes in the 2011 race (a decent amount) so I expect the 2012 race will probably outnumber that.

          • Yappy said on 28th April 2013, 23:00


            Number of pit stops? Damaged cars? Nothing to do with versatility as all the drivers face those conditions. By your logic we should include wind direction and gravitational pull of the moon. You hate Vettel, we get it. Vettel beat Alonso to two titles. Worse though, he took all the records from Hamilton who was the chosen one. Your random answer show that you have not been paying attention to the racing. Here’s some help. Alonso in the old Renault days used to overtake around corners in the rain Indy Car style, you do not see anyone else do that anymore.

      • Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 27th April 2013, 17:52


        “If you had put Vettel in an early spec of the F2012 and he’d been all over the place”

        That’s a ridiculous assessment, based on nothing but counterfactual imagination. We don’t know what Vettel could or could not have done in that F2012. If you assert that RB8 was built around Vettel than the same argument applies to the F2012, which was built around around Alonso and more so. Don’t forget, even though I was pleasantly surprised with Alonso’s performance (Massive Ferrari fan here!) in the first four races. His finishing positions in Aus, Mal were down to sheer luck and he did nothing spectacular in China and Bahrain, Although he of course out drove the car. Nonetheless, I’m certain Vettel would have gotten more out of that F2012 at least on a single lap.

        If he were to go to Ferrari. The scuderia will go out the way to support his style.
        “Vettel prefers to enter a corner without a huge amount of speed, but then boots the throttle, often before he gets to the apex, rotates the car and hopes the rear downforce sorts the whole thing out”.

        Every driver relies on that. You have just precisely stated why he is so fast in qualifying and in preserving his tyres. Formula 1 is not about being last of the late breakers, it’s about being fast in the corners. (I’m sure you have seen this, but still: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk2p2nRK-p4).

        Vettel optimizes his driving style between being quick and tyre conservation. I’ll assert that even Alonso can’t do that this effectively, never mind Hamilton. My definition of versatility also included getting all the points he can get when his car is noticeably slower than the rest. The first few races of the 2012 season was a great example of that. Compare him to the blow hot, blow cold Lewis Hamilton. Vettel still ranks slightly behind Alonso in my book due to his inability to work his way around traffic, but considering that Vettel is still young and still honing his skills. By the time he is Alonso’s current age, he’ll be a colossal driver in terms of outright speed.


        • chiliz00 (@chiliz00) said on 27th April 2013, 23:04

          Wow…let me just make sure i am getting you correctly…by go out of their way to support his driving style do you mean build car around his drving style…what makes you say or think if vettel were to join Ferrari they would build a car around him assuming that he were to drive alongside Alonso?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th April 2013, 1:16

            @chiliz00 – Well Luca Di Montezemolo ruled out the chance of vettel alongside Alonso, so he means if he were alongside someone else. And if SV were signed alongside someone else, they’d be talking about a multiple champion alongside a non-champion, like the current situation.

        • sid90 (@sid90) said on 28th April 2013, 3:34

          @sankalp88 Yeah I agree with @chiliz00, that is a pretty stupid statement, no car is designed around a driver, that comes with set-up changes, the designers build, literally the fastest car they can build.

          • Sankalp Sharma (@sankalp88) said on 28th April 2013, 4:03


            “that is a pretty stupid statement, no car is designed around a driver, that comes with set-up changes”.

            Why don’t you go and confirm this with Eddie Irwine and Rubens Barichello? James Allen’s Book – “Edge of greatness”, specifically quoted Jean Todt on this. “Schumacher demanded preferential treatment on race strategy and car design. And we gave him that”

            Moreover I fail to see why this is so surprising. A case study follows:
            Let’s say there are two drivers for team X. Driver 1 > driver 2 in terms of skill.

            Now as you say, “the designers build, literally the fastest car they can build.”

            Good, now the car is fast, but neither driver is really happy in it. Driver 1 is performing at driver 2’s level. The team are losing out on points. They know that changing the car’s capability around their lead driver would be better for their championship even if it regresses driver 2’s ability. What do you think they’d do?

            Now before you jump on my hypothetical analysis. Let’s look at a classic example: the FW16. The far was inherently fast, very fast in fact. Senna put it on pole for the first three races. Yet he hated that car. What did you think Newey (he was designer for Williams back then) would’ve have tried to do? Try and accommodate Senna’s style or build an even faster and inherently flawed car, which Newey himself admitted was pretty tricky. So what did they do after Imola 1994? They back tracked. Hill took the development lead. As a consequence they were easily thumped by Schumi in the first half. The rest of 1994 is of course history!

  2. David-A (@david-a) said on 27th April 2013, 1:08

    Probably at least 50% of the drivers on the grid today, given the right car and package, would be a World Champion, because they are some quality drivers.

    And you usually only get the right package and car, if you show you deserve it, not through some kind of lottery. Paul Di Resta hasn’t beaten his teammate over a full F1 season, which makes it impossible to win an F1 championship.

  3. D (@f190) said on 27th April 2013, 1:16

    One good result and he’s the next big thing ? Ahh the fickle world of F1 ! Lets just ignore his previous 3 average years.

  4. Di Resta champion? April’s fool is at the beginning of the month as far as I know.

  5. i’m one of the few (I think) Americans here so this may lack context outside of the United States but I bet WWE’s Wrestlmania got higher viewership than the US Grand Prix last year; that doesn’t mean that I think F1 needs drivers hitting one another with folding chairs. But we’re living in a time when what we think about sports is fundamentally changing – it’s a huge business and it’s an entertainment business. Here in the states an NBA coach was fined by the league because he chose to rest his star players in a game that the league considered important for viewership numbers. In one overt wave of the hand the NBA effectively announced that entertainment value is more important than sporting integrity. It’s disgusting, and F1 is traveling down exactly the same path. I’m not suggesting it’s new – I am sure in smoke filled rooms in times of yore, men in dark suits and thick cigars made all sorts of seedy arrangements – but I can’t help but feel like all of the people who are saying “This is great!” are just totally missing the point.

  6. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 27th April 2013, 1:49

    Would you think I’m mean if my first reaction at seeing Bob Fernley’s statement was to just laugh out loud? :)

  7. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 27th April 2013, 2:25

    How can they try to oust Ron Dennis??? Ron is Mclaren!

    • dragoll (@dragoll) said on 27th April 2013, 4:39

      I read the article too, I think sometimes the media try to niggle into something that isn’t there. Just because you ask the question, doesn’t mean you should publish it…

      It’d be like asking Enzo Ferrari, whether he would consider heading up Tata… It is both an insult and a beat up.

  8. Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 27th April 2013, 2:28

    I am getting a bit tired of people insinuating that Vettel is a three time world champion only because he has the best car and I say this as an ardent Hamilton fan. Red Bull are an excellent team, and there car probably is the best overall package out there, but that means nought if your driver isn’t up to scratch. Vettel has consistently displayed that he is incredibly reliable, can race with the best of them and has an eye for strategy. And it always amazes me that people manage to forget how impressive Vettel was when he raced for Toro Rosso. In 2008 he placed 8th in a Toro Rosso. A Toro Rosso. Not only did he beat his team mate (Bourdais) by a considerable margin, but he also wiped the floor with both Red Bulls (Webber and Coulthard). By contrast, PDR hasn’t managed anything nearly as impressive.

    To summarise; there’s a reason why Vettel and Schumacher are champions and Webber and Barrichello aren’t.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th April 2013, 4:17

      And it always amazes me that people manage to forget how impressive Vettel was when he raced for Toro Rosso. In 2008 he placed 8th in a Toro Rosso. A Toro Rosso.

      And most of that was down to his win at Monza, which was only possible because of the prevailing conditions over the weekend. Vettel made the right tyre chocie in qualifying when nobody else did.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th April 2013, 12:02

        He was actually consistently impressive in that year- the win was in the middle of a run of 5 straight top sixes.

        • MagillaGorilla (@magillagorilla) said on 28th April 2013, 10:46

          Five straight top sixes…sounds as if you found the lowest common result and expanded upon it, to make it seem impressive…@david-a. Not to take away from Vettel but that’d be like saying he had a top ten all season long in a season when his lowest result were to be 10th, but other drivers (hypothetical) finished say top 5 or 3 all season long. Point is I’ve seen many play a vague numbers game to cushion an argument that isn’t there. The only reason, I find it impressive, is due to the bigger fact it was a Toro Rosso he did it in and really that is all anyone has to say.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th April 2013, 11:27


            The only reason, I find it impressive, is due to the bigger fact it was a Toro Rosso he did it in and really that is all anyone has to say.

            Alright then!

      • Mads (@mads) said on 27th April 2013, 13:26

        No it was not. That win gave him 10 points. He finished on 35 points. Webber on 21. So even without the Monza win Vettel would still have finished higher in the standings then Webber and therefore also Coulthard.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 29th April 2013, 7:54

        And most of that was down to his win at Monza, which was only possible because of the prevailing conditions over the weekend

        – I think you underestimate both Vettel AND the STR car there @prisoner-monkeys.

        Vettel had quite a few very impressive races that year and mid season the Ferrari engine was clearly the best on the grid to make that car a better package then the RBR car using more or less the same chassis. Lets not forget that if not for some unfortunate incidents (like getting penalized for Massa’s impeding him) Bourdais would also have had a solid season. But Vettel was clearly very good and won deservedly in Monza, not by a lucky choice of settings

    • Sri Harsha (@harsha) said on 27th April 2013, 5:01

      If Diresta want to have a Seat in Big team he needs to prove his worth. One 4th place is not enough for that.

    • Yappy said on 27th April 2013, 8:26

      One of the things that most people do not think of is that the car must suit the drivers driving style. Newey designed a car that is meant to be driven a certain way. Vettel drives it that way, Webber doesn’t which is why Vettel is often ahead in the standings. So to say anyone can win in a Red Bull is far from correct.

      • Yappy said on 27th April 2013, 9:55

        Vettel’s best drives in a Torro Rosso. 07 China 17 > 4, 08 Monaco 19 > 5, Canada 19 > 8. In the first 2 years of his career he showed he could make quite a few places, fingers dirty and all that. I still remember in Brazil 08 he overtook Hamilton in the rain, almost costing Hamilton the WDC.

    • Hairs (@hairs) said on 27th April 2013, 10:37

      2008’s Torro Rosso was actually a better car than the 2008 Red Bull, though. That year, RB were trying out a different design, whereas TR were running the 2007 RB design. Much like if Williams were running last year’s McLaren, they’d be faster than Button or Perez this year. That doesn’t mean that Bottas and Maldonado are better drivers than Button and Perez…

    • @kibblesworth +1!

      Yappy, I happen to think also that is an indication that Vettel is a more adaptable driver than Webber, which is an argument frequently cited against him. The rear downforce levels require an ‘unnatural’ driving technique, which Vettel has managed perfectly in stark contrast to Webber.

      • Yappy said on 27th April 2013, 23:32

        The point is that the Red Bull is not an easy driving car and you can’t put just anyone in it if you want success.

  9. karter22 (@karter22) said on 27th April 2013, 2:31

    I don´t see wh you guys are bashing on di resta. Didn´t he beat SV on a lower categorie or did I just dream that up?? I could be wrong and probably am so please, somebody confirm this?!

    • lordhesketh (@lordhesketh) said on 27th April 2013, 2:34

      Yeah, I’m fairly certain they raced together in Formula 3. Can’t recall the result.

      • fangio85 (@fangio85) said on 27th April 2013, 2:51

        Yes they were team mates in f3 and Di resta out performed seb in identical machinery, but that doesn’t mean he would do the same in f1. With that said, people defending seb and saying Di resta isn’t anywhere near him in skill are being very biased, and obviously didn’t know they raced in equal cars before. Also using the torro rosso seb drove as an example shows your bias, that years torro rosso was basically a red bull with a better engine. What I’m saying is both sides of this argument show a huge level of bias, vettel is a very talented driver, one of the best currently, but don’t delude yourself into thinking he is in a class of his own. And to the other side, don’t pretend f3 results from 6 or 7 years ago will translate into f1 seamlessly if Di resta was in a red bull. I’ve said it before and ill say it again, fia should have one or two races per year run to a gp1 formula, all cars exactly the same, like gp2, but at f1 power and downforce levels, and put the f1 drivers against each other, for a trophy or prize separate from f1, and we wouldn’t need to have these debates :)

        • The STR/ RBR of 2007 or 2008 was not a match to the Ferrari, Mclaren,Renault,Honda and BMW. So he was driving a car which was much weaker than what paul was driving now.
          Yet Sebastian made most out of it which is what Paul Diresta Didn’t done until now. Comparing these two Drivers isn’t bias but It shows you how one Driver was evolved with time while other still Struggling to perform Consistently since their time in F3.

        • karter22 (@karter22) said on 27th April 2013, 17:12

          @fangio85 @david-a @kibblesworth @vettel1

          Thank you all for clearing this up for me. Now I know I´m not loonie or anything. I understand that lower formula is not the same thing as F1, I agree with that but, here is my main rant: You guys are bashing on Di Resta because he hasn´t performed as well in F1 and say that SV has had much more succes, well, it´s not that DiR is all that bad, he just didn´t progress into F1 as quickly as SV did mainly because of his “sponsors”. SV has had his way paved for him all the way into F1 and has had awesome equipment. Others, haven´t had as much luck. I don´t think DiR is all that bad and you all know that I don´t think that SV is in a league of his own so basically what I´m saying is that anybody with the right mentoring, sponsoring, etc… can become WDC if, and only if he is good enough. I believe DiR is good enough for at least 1 WDC but how do you expect somebody to shine if you don´t have great equipment?
          I say give the guy a break. He´s good enough but I think we might never get to see that because eople underrate him.

          • @karter22 – don’t get me wrong, I like Di Resta as a fellow Scot myself but I think he’s a bit of a Coulthard: decent, but not championship material. Hulkenberg though I would say is championship material, which is why he outshone him in Force India.

            If we say Hulkenberg is comparable to Vettel, then Fernley’s comment makes no sense: how can he possibly become champion, even in the best car, if he couldn’t beat the best in Vettel, Alonso and Räikkönen (who are in the main title-contending cars currently)? Pretty much, he has no hope.

            As much as I like Di Resta, I highly doubt he’ll ever be good enough to be a world champion in F1: he’s simply not on the level of guys like Vettel, despite the fact he bet him in the junior formula (which links back to everybody else’s points now).

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th April 2013, 17:49


            I believe DiR is good enough for at least 1 WDC but how do you expect somebody to shine if you don´t have great equipment?

            I’d say that that is why Paul Di Resta hasn’t shown himself to be a world champion quality driver so far. Say what you want about Toro Rosso, but they were only 6th at the very highest in the constructor’s championship pecking order, and can hardly be assumed to have been better than that across 2008. That wasn’t particularly awesome, compared to the machinery of others when rookies. Piquet and Glock, as examples, in the same year got better cars, but ended up lower than SV in the WDC. Vettel still shone, Di Resta, in cars that have been 6th and 7th best, lagged behind his teammates.

            However it’s important to emphasise that PdR still has time, he can easily turn it around and prove himself.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 27th April 2013, 2:48

      @karter22 @lordhesketh

      Yes, but it has as much relevance now as the way Webber beat Alonso in a junior category.

    • Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 27th April 2013, 2:57

      Yeah, he beat Vettel in the 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series. But Vettel beat him in the 2005 series and Hamilton and Sutil wiped the floor with them both. But that was 7 years ago, so it has little bearing on today. Some drivers keep getting better when they leave the lower categories whilst some find out that they have reached a limit to how far their talent will go. Time will tell what PDR is capable of, but his time in F1 hasn’t exactly been spectacular thus far.

      • Cristian (@cristian) said on 27th April 2013, 7:06

        There is a significant age difference between Hamilton and Sutil against Vettel, which would have shown greatly at that level. So it’s stupid to say that those guys wiped the floor with them, they were at different stages of their careers.

        • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 27th April 2013, 8:15

          @cristian Also in 2005, Vettel was in Mucke Motorsport, whereas Sutil and Hamilton were not only in the stronger ASM Formule 3(now the ART team led by Nicolas Todt), they also had a year’s experience on Vettel in the category. F3 isn’t a spec series so it’s difficult to compare. I agree with you and am really surprised how people feel that if A beat B several years ago, Then A>B, despite B being more experienced in the category in question.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th April 2013, 9:22

          @christian, @wsrgo, That was just to illustrate that results of several years ago aren’t representative of current skill in F1, so exactly, Vettel has shown his worth, Hamilton did as well; Sutil and Di Resta so far have been less impressive. In all cases circumstance may play a role, but clearly so does how you handle opportunities.

        • Adam Kibbey (@kibblesworth) said on 27th April 2013, 12:09

          @cristian, yeah I know they were at different stages in their careers; that was the point I was trying to make. It didn’t matter how good they were then, all that is relevant is how good they are now because obviously some drivers have kept on improving whilst some have reached or are nearing their limits.

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 27th April 2013, 8:10

      @karter22 Actually Vettel was doing a double campaign that year, with his FR3.5 commitments. Also it is folly to compare junior formulae results of established F1 drivers.

    • @karter22 – there is a reason Di Resta isn’t in the Red Bull, that’s my only contribution.

    • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th April 2013, 22:27


      So… Mark Webber is a better driver than Fernando Alonso?

      And Martin Brundle is about as good as Ayrton Senna?

  10. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 27th April 2013, 3:20

    I think some of the comments about Di Resta are unfair. He won the DTM which is no easy task. Yeah he got beat in his first season to a teammate who knew the car alot better but season 2 with the Hulk is a different; he was on the wrong end of a split strategy on alot of occasions last season. Whenever he has had the opportunity he has delivered. I think he is a good solid driver. Not the cream of the crop, but a good solid driver.

  11. bigredbears10 (@bigredbears10) said on 27th April 2013, 4:22

    In response to the quote of the day. I would agree, except that “Blocking” is illegal in Indycar, which also makes passing all to artificial. IMO, one of the greatest things they have going is Engine Development and competition. It was missing from IRL and is the F1 engine freeze leaves much to be desired. Are the 2014 engines going to have open development throughout the season (since tech can be applied to road cars), or is there a cost savings freeze next year too?

    • anon said on 27th April 2013, 9:22

      The COTD also neglected to mention the “push to pass” engine boost system that IndyCar uses at the moment. Although somewhat different to the DRS that F1 uses, letting the driver increase the power output of his engine by 100bhp temporarily is still an artificial method of assisting a driver, just one that is not visually apparent.

      As for the 2014 spec turbo engines, I think that they have to be homologated for the 2014 season (akin to the system for the current V8’s). Now, like the current V8 engines, I believe that small upgrades for reliability purposes are permitted and ancillary systems are still open to development for 2014: Renault, for example, are still developing the throttle system, the fuel injection systems and other smaller parts of their V8 engine despite the restrictions, and that should carry over into 2014 too.
      The longer term plans are less clear, but there are indications that limited development will be permitted – how much is still up for debate, since the smaller teams that have to pick up the bill via rising engine prices are not keen on the idea, but the manufacturers, naturally, want fewer development restrictions.

      • boozzo said on 27th April 2013, 12:14

        I believe I will chime in on this one. I follow F1, Indy, nascar, motogp and my fav, motocross. Out of all those, the complainers rest with the F1 crowd. They complain about nascar, they complain about indy, and worse, they complain about F1. These complaints have introduced arcade racing which includes DRS and 20 different qualifying formats and lottery tires. There is nothing wrong with indy. Plenty of side by side racing there. There is nothing wrong with nascar, lots of side by side there too. Get a couple of F1 cars side by side and it’s an ‘event’, when in actuality, the race was supposed to be the event, but everybody missed it cause they are desperate for ANY kind of race.

        I respect F1’s followers, as I see it as the very ultimate in car tech. That is until you include the whiners, which have brought us all kinds of fake goodies. Why complain if F1 is so awesome that you hammer other series, yet, have hammered F1 also to the point of introducing arcade action at an F1 race?

        Nobody likes DRS, and KERS is questionable as a racing asset (no I do not like the push to pass arcade in indy either).

        My take on the last race?


        So much passing during the race that any places were irrelevant till the last 15 laps. That’s nascar. Listen veryyy closely, THAT’S NASCAR. However, everybody voted it an exciting race. But nascar sucks. In effect, a bunch of closet nascar fans? I’ll race anything, and I always love a good battle no matter what the series. I am not watching to be entertained, I am watching cause I am a racer.

        There is no such thing as a bad race, unless someones not racing. Who races the least out of all these series? F1. That is why you’re complaining, and that’s why F1 is now arcade. It is not my fault, but cause of what F1 has turned into, I take it as a semi-serious racing league. The rest are still racing while F1 is putting on a ‘show’ to shut the complainers up.

        • Drop Valencia! said on 27th April 2013, 13:15

          I like your post, F1 2010 was awesome with indestructo tyres and no DRS. Sure Abu Dubai was painful, so I think a weak DRS has a place, but the tyres have gone too far.

          • David not Coulthard (@) said on 28th April 2013, 12:23

            And the 2010 championship was…exciting. That made Abu Dhabi exciting! Nevermind the races – my favourite f1 season, among the ones I’ve watched, was 2010.

  12. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 27th April 2013, 6:35

    I think Fernley underestimates what it takes to be champion. Sure, the RB6 was a very dominant car, but Vettel was also hit with reliability problems that cost him three victories.

    In the RB7, Vettel was completely dominant, but only by a few tenths. He would qualify on pole usually by a modest margin, then start well and clear the DRS zone and control the race from there, but he rarely won by half a minute. A lesser driver would have been fighting with the McLarens and Ferraris, and victory would be far from certain. Just look at how far Webber was off his team mate that season.

    In 2012, the RB8 was not a dominant car at all, and it was only because Vettel was able to get the best out of the package, in Alonso style you might say, that he was able to snatch the championship. Just to clarify, I’m not a Vettel fan.

    So I think DiResta might have been champion in a reliable RB6, but I don’t think he would have been champion in the RB7 and RB8. His Singapore drives were special, but his other drives do not suggest to me that he should be in a Red Bull. Even his drive in Bahrain did not impress me as much as it did others. He qualified strongly, but he really should have been on the podium. His excuse that he didn’t have the tyres to do a three-stopper (he would have had to use one set he used in qualifying) was just that – an excuse, of which we have heard to many from Paul over the years, and excuses don’t win championships.

    • Sri Harsha (@harsha) said on 27th April 2013, 7:24

      You summed up every thing Perfectly but i think even with car like RB6 you have Opponents like Mark , Fernando, Jenson, Lewis who can give run for the Money if we discount Sebastian.
      When Fighting for a Championship you will have tremendous Pressure and Mistakes will kill your Chances.
      In the Case of PDR he is Good but i don’t think he has what it takes to be a Champion unless he improves Drastically. His Immediate excuses when his team mate Out qualified him or Out raced him shows he can’t take the pressure and blame other things.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 27th April 2013, 7:31

      In 2012, the RB8 was not a dominant car at all, and it was only because Vettel was able to get the best out of the package, in Alonso style you might say, that he was able to snatch the championship.

      And he had a lot of luck – Alonso was the unwitting victim of first-corner accidents in Belgium and Japan. If he had finished either one of those races, he probably would have been World Champion.

      • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 27th April 2013, 11:31

        But then you can extend that argument to say that if vettels alternator failures hadn’t occured then Vettel would have been champion anyway.

        • Nick.UK (@) said on 28th April 2013, 5:26

          @xjr15jaaag Reliability is different to luck. If you build a reliable car you eliminate the risk of failures. Much like Ferrari.

          • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 28th April 2013, 11:13

            The alternator failures were a fault with RENAULT; completely separate from RBR

          • Lajo (@lajo) said on 28th April 2013, 11:51

            Yet if your DRS jams open, many people consider it bad luck. Much like Ferrari.

          • F1fanNL (@) said on 28th April 2013, 22:31


            Actually, in this case it WAS luck. They got a bad batch of alternators. The alternators before those were working perfectly within the car so it’s not a case of reliability at all.

      • @prisoner-monkeys you’re talking about luck by mentioning how Alonso lacked it? Oh please, don’t make me laugh. Have we forgotten that gifted win in Valencia (that’s 32 points to Alonso)? I understand that they were reliability issues on Red Bull’s part, but they benefited Alonso immensely.

        Alonso was caught up in the fray in Belgium but Suzuka was as much his fault as anything else, so I’d hardly call that “bad luck”. Despite this, there were several occasions where Alonso benefited from a chasing driver making a mistake (Australia with Maldonado and Malaysia with Perez, where coincidentally Vettel was also involved in an accident that he was entirely blameless for).

        So if anything, Alonso was the lucky one here. Hamilton was the only truly unlucky one that season.

      • And he had a lot of luck – Alonso was the unwitting victim of first-corner accidents in Belgium and Japan.

        What a strange remark. Alonso had one piece of bad luck in all of 2012 – the accident at Spa. Suzuka was his own mistake. By contrast Vettel was unlucky at Malaysia, Valencia, Spa, Abu Dhabi, and Brazil. And yet supposedly Seb was the lucky one!

  13. Hairs (@hairs) said on 27th April 2013, 8:36

    Sky may be touting that article as “Paul could be a champion” but Bob’s words are lukewarm at best. If you’re flattering your driver you don’t say that half the grid are just as good as him, you’d say he’s great, one of the best, a rare talent. At best, Bob is pushed into an answer to the question “how great is Paul?” and the best answer he gave was “all right I suppose, about the same as everyone else”. Particularly telling was

    but what we wanted to do was keep the pressure on Paul actually because each driver needs to be performing at their limit.

    So clearly the team think either there’s more in the tank, or that Paul isn’t the infallible winning machine that he and his cheerleaders think he is. I wonder if the constant narrative from his camp of “I’m only in this team till something better comes along, this lot aren’t good enough for me” is beginning to wear with the team. The “you could have done better with this car” radio message at the end of the last race was also telling.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 27th April 2013, 10:08

      That is a good point @hairs, put that wat it certainly isn’t the biggest endorsement of a driver we have seen.

      That reminds me that when Hülkenberg left I also had the impression they were feeling they lost the best of their two drivers.

  14. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 27th April 2013, 9:28

    The only reason I can see Ron Dennis stepping down is to take his old job back and save the team.

  15. M Dickens (@sgt-pepper) said on 27th April 2013, 11:11

    Karthikeyan could win a championship in a Red Bull.

    Article’s moot.

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