Di resta: Hulkenberg’s move to Sauber not a ‘step up’

Comparing the two teams is like looking at a green and red apple…they are both apples with different colors. Force India and Sauber would seem, on surface, to be two Formula One teams that are doing relatively well with the latter leading the former in the world constructor’s points championship. That hasn’t always been the case as Force India have been the better team over the last few seasons. The recent change in fortune speaks to Sauber’s upward progression at the expense of Force India. Even though this upward swing has manifest itself in more points than Force India, Nico hulkenberg’s teammate, Paul di Resta, is unclear on why his German teammate would choose to leave Force India for Sauber:

“I was surprised that Nico left this team, to be fair, for an immediate competitor,” said di Resta in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“I don’t see it as being a step up, to be perfectly honest. I see it as an equal kind of status.

“Long term where you see this team is going, I think it is probably better [at Force India].”

Although Sauber is ahead of Force India in the standings this year, di Resta feels his team has been more consistent in its performances over past seasons.

“They [Sauber] have had a couple of remarkable results, and I am not going to deny that. But in terms of consistency, we have got a lot. It may be different.

“Next year may be different, and I don’t know the full reasons why Nico has gone there.”

One season of gains does not make a decade of winning and time will tell whether Sauber is moving forward with superior engineering and resources to be fighting for the “best of the rest” category or not. Sauber’s Ferrari contract for engines and tight relationship certainly are noteworthy and a huge boost tot he team whereas Force India has their Mercedes engine deal as well as the McLaren technical engineering contract that allows for a symbiotic engineering relationship with the folks in Woking

It may very well be a lateral move but in the end, Force India’s owner may have more impact on the team than anything else should he continue to experience financial strain with his Kingfisher airline investment. Rumors circulated all year long about the drivers having not been paid their compensation etc and while all of those are rumors, there is certainly no doubting that Vijay Mallya’s airline has amassed serious debt. All teams are at risk of financial withdrawal and Sauber knows this as well as anyone after resurrecting itself from the ashes of what was BMW F1.

Force India have a lot of exciting things going for them and while Sauber has had their number this year, I do believe Paul should be excited about staying at the team for 2013. There are a lot of great folks producing terrific cars and racing at the team and they have every reason to believe that next year will be better. The regulations don’t change much and both Sauber and Force India may have a really good scrap next year.


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