If you were looking up and down the grid at drivers that were facing a put up or shut up year in 2013, Nico Rosberg and Paul Di Resta come to mind. I am happy to report that both drivers have put up and I’ve been impressed with their resolve in the face of extremely competitive teammates and a car that is less than perfect.
In the case of Force India’s Paul Di Resta, the Scot has suffered at the hands of a few team tactics that left him miffed and on his heels come race day but he’s made the most of it regardless. In fact he’s scored points in every race he’s finished for a total of 35 so far this year and that’s more than his teammate although one could argue that Sutil has suffered from those same gremlins and more.
At the end of 2012, Sauber looked like a team on the move and one can forgive Nico Hulkenberg for seeing greener pastures when he made the choice to join the Swiss team leaving behind Force India. At the time, Di Resta was publicly crabbing about other teams wanting Nico and not him but in hindsight, the move to Sauber hasn’t worked out as well as Nico may have hoped. In fact, staying put seems to be a much better decision and Paul may thank his lucky stars he didn’t leave for a lateral or worse move.
Regardless of the Sauber move, Di Resta is still a racer and he’s keen to get a car to win with. For that effort, Force India says they won’t stand in the way of the young Scotsman finding greener pastures:
“Paul is contracted to us anyway for next season, so the question is whether somebody else comes in, so it won’t be our decision,” team boss Bob Fernley said.
“Whether Paul has to be released, or whatever, that can only come from him. But we wouldn’t stand in his way. That’s not our policy. If a driver feels he is better somewhere else, what would be the point in keeping him?
The question I have is this: If Paul has the wiggle room to move and Force India won’t stand in his way, where would he or should he or could he move to? Many fingers point to McLaren as some believe the Sergio Perez option hasn’t worked out but surely that’s attached to Carlos Slim sponsorship and much more so dislodging Perez may not be that easy. Others suggest Ferrari, Lotus or even Red Bull. Could Di Resta make a good replacement should Mark Webber retire at the end of 2013?
Where do you see Paul going to? Obviously Red Bull is a strong car and I have to think he would really be keen for that ride but you have to consider Kimi Raikkonen as well as Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne as competition. Could Paul fit nicely with a team like Lotus F1? If you were Paul, would you make a lateral move to Williams et al?