F1 Winter Break
Paul Di Resta: “Vettel won because he had the best car”
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Dec 2011   |  10:00 am GMT  |  281 comments

There is an interview with Paul di Resta in Gazzetta dello Sport today, ahead of an important week for the Scotsman, as he waits to learn of his confirmation in a race seat for 2012.

That announcement is due to be made on Thursday.

Di Resta was famously team mate to Sebastian Vettel in F3 back in 2006 and beat him in equal cars. The Scotsman is a year older than his celebrated former colleague and took longer to break into F1 because he didn’t have a BMW or a Red Bull to push him forward.

Invited to draw conclusions from what their past says about their relative situations today, Di Resta takes the bait,

“We had the same car, same engine, same tyres and I beat him,” said Di Resta. “I don’t want to diminish Vettel’s achievement (this year), but he won the championship because he had the best car. He did his job, but another driver in the same car would probably have achieved the same results. I hope one day to have the same opportunity.”

This is fighting talk from Di Resta and rather surprising, as he is normally pretty guarded in what he says. It smacks of jealousy of course, but he clearly wants to talk himself up and the fact that he feels he can say something like this illustrates that he’s obviously feeling confident with a new contract in his pocket. The expectation is that Force India will move forward with him and Nico Hulkenberg.

It is a comment that will play well with the fans who diminish Vettel’s achievement.

He says that his target for 2011 was “Only to prove that I deserve my place on the grid,” and notes that “in midfield you have around you three or four teams all running in more or less the same way,” so it’s a real battle.

Di Resta notes that he has no official tie to Mercedes, other than the engine that sits in the back of his Force India car.

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Di Resta said whats in my heart.

Thank You mate.


He is right BUT the team that has the best car 99% of the times hire the best driver.

He will never have that offer.


I suggest Mr Di Resta has a look at what Vettel managed to achieve in a midfield car called a Torro Rosso! Not only did he win a race, but you'll note his other performances too, IIRC there were several 4th and 5th places.

Formula One is a different discipline to other motorsports. Vettel has basically thrashed Mark Webber for 3 seasons now, and Webber was until recently respected as a very quick driver (who often outperformed his car).

Obviously F1 is weighted towards the best car (I don't dispute that), but I think the difference between the McLaren and Red Bull this season was no where near as large as Mclarne fans suggest. At downforce hungry circuits McLaren have excelled (Hungary, Suzuka etc), and I still believe it to be the case that the Mercedes engine & KERS is the best on the grid (they seemed able to run high downforce and still get great top speeds).


In your heart? Well what about those that beat Schumi in sports cars e.g Frentzen or the no body's that beat Hamilton in F3? I guess all those drivers would beat F1's elites, yeah right! Di Resta you're dreaming, you couldn't even beat Sutil towards the end of this season.


Fair pay but it would be true for any of Paul's karting competitors to say Paul only got 13th in the 2011 WDC as he was in the Force India. Works both way this argument.


And there are many many cases of drivers who perform better in the lower formula's than in F1 - and visa versa .


I think it was a well timed comment From Paul. His team, afterall, is revealing their lineup this week. Maybe he feels a little insecure and wants to guarantee himself a seat. If he already has a contract, perhaps he is trying to assert dominance over the Hulk.

It is hard enough for drivers to secure a drive these days, so they need to self-promote as much as they can. If were Paul, I would be exploiting that trump card as much as I could.

Not many can beat Vettel, so any who do, deserve some credit. Who knows, it might spark the curiosity from one of the top teams. Once in a top team, the rest would be up to his talent.


Exactly. Past form is no guarantee if future success.

Martin Brundle beat Senna in the lower ranks, but surprisingly failed to win a single Grands Prix (I couldn't believe that when I first read about it).

I think Di Resta's comments illustrates perfectly the theory that all racing drivers believe they are the best. It is this self belief and competitive spirit that drives them.

However his argument does not ring true. Webber did achieve what Vettel did this year, although I think he was the better driver last year. I wouldn't bet against Seb now even if Di Resta was in the seat next to him.

Also, didn't Sutil end up on top this year? I think Paul needs to do his talking on the track as he did at the start of the season.


Martin won races against Senna in F3 but Senna won the championship


I don't quite get what you're trying to say here. Paul said "The best car (not necessarily driver) won". The 6th best car came 6th, naturally. That is, after all, how you measure the cars, all other things being equal - how they finish in the championship table!

If Vettel was such an amazing driver, he would have won every year that he's competed, but he only got 8th in his rookie season.

So, clearly, the car does have a lot to do with it. Any statement to the contrary is just hot air or wishful thinking! Not to mention the obvious point that you wouldn't have so many manufacturers competing in the sport if the cars were all nearly identical.


@Wayne -

" there are far too many who believe that Vettel is a very good driver but would be outclassed by the best in the same machinery. "

Speculation doesn't count for anything.

Simply, what we have seen over the last 2 years is actually closer to the opposite of what you have said.


" but another driver in the same car would probably have achieved the same results"

this is the problem with what he said.... I do not beleive "another" would have done that... perhaps a few but he makes it seem generic


8th in his rookie season competing against 2 Ferraris, Mclarens, BMWs, Renaults, Red Bulls, Williams and Toyotas. It was an excellent rookie year for SV.


Additionally, James, you often make quite an issue fo fans 'dimninishing Vettel's achievement' but there are far too many who believe that Vettel is a very good driver but would be outclassed by the best in the same machinery. This is even reflected by many comments from those in the sport, both in and out of the car, figures past and present.

Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel in the same car, each at the top of their game over a season - who wins in your opinion James? Come on indulge us in a bit of fun speculation!!

For me:

Average Qualy: Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso

Race Wins: Alonso, Hamilon, Vettel

WDC: Alonso, Hamilon, Vettel.


That's a whole post in itself. We'll do that one at Christmas!


I think Paul should have said 'Vettel won because he had the best car AND he made perfect use of it'.

Way to many people both in and out of the sport believe that Vettel is no Hamilton or Alonso and that he had the best car by a fair way for it not to be at least partially true. However, you have to say he made absolutely perfect use of what he was given. Almost literally 'perfect' for an entire season. I would bets my house and everything in it that Alonso or Hamilton would beat him by a fair way in the same machine though, assuming all three were at the top of their game.




@ vicki: no one, not even the MW fans, would criticise Seb for his results this year or his outstanding results. He smashed everyone. But to say the two RB drivers are completely equal (or words to that effect) is nonsense.


your broken space bar is excused, but his sometimes enter 🙂


I meant hit 🙂


Do you really think Mark Webber had the same car and same support from RB?

In Mark's own words "Not bad for a number 2 driver".


I'm a MW fan, but I can't possibly see a team limiting one of their drivers cars in order to help them win.

From the teams perspective, the constructors championship is the main goal and the best way to achieve that is to have to 2 best cars and drivers. With the battle for 2nd to 5th so tight this year, RB would be nuts to restrict the performance of one of their drivers.


"I can’t possibly see a team limiting one of their drivers cars in order to help them win" No? There are plenty of examples of this from history. Plus you also need to consider a team benefiting only one driver to give them an advantage. It's very possible and frequently happens.


Yeah, as a team you want to have the 2 best cars and drivers, but in order to win both championships, you want the order of the cars in every race the same (so 1 Vettel and 2 Webber), otherwise you're cannibalizing points.

RB showed in the last race that they're indeed pulling the strings on their drivers, trying to get the best outcome for the team (and in the meantime trying not the step on someones toes).

Nothing wrong with that, but as a F1 follower you have to keep this in mind when you give credit a driver. There is always a team behind them pulling the strings.


Year after year there is always suspicion that one dominant team “favours” a particular driver, in order to ensure their success of the championship, over the “number 2 driver”. They probably do, to some extent – not necessarily in the mechanical package, but in the intellectual package; that particular driver might get the better engineers. The more obvious driver, to succeed over his team mate, may get the slightly smarter engineers and support, so forth. Support comes in different forms.

Saying that, Vettel seems to be a particularly bright individual.

I was surprised that Webber didn’t compete so closely with SV, as he did last year where they raced much more closely than this year.

Let’s hope that was down to “intellectual knowledge” and not him being at a mechanical disadvantage and that it is up to intellectual smarts to beat his team mate next year.


Sour grapes. Vettel has develeoped a lot since their team-mate battles. di Resta's beating him doesn't mean he is now better than him.


I'm with you on that point. Liuzzi was a karting superstar and an average F1 driver.

Alesi, Comas and Bernard were F3000 superstars and managed one win in F1.

Vettel definitely came into his own since e started F1 and continues to develop. There's such a difference between the Vettel of 2010 and 2011 that it is difficult to refute the point thst you can get better in a different series, in this case, F1.


I'd question whether he'd have been quite so successful with out the great support hes been given by redbull driving programme.

Of course thats all part of the intrigue in formula 1.


Maybe securing that great support is a success story in itself.

Great men (and women) rarely achieve things on their own and being able to gather a great team around you is an essential component of success.


to be fair , vettel has had the backing to get into the best car which di resta hasn't had ...maybe he would have developed as much or even more ...we will not know unless di resta gets a top drive


Vettel wouldn't have got into that best car if he didn't perform so well in 2008 when he was driving a car only good enough for the midfield.

Di Resta's done well so far, but he hasn't shone like Vettel did in 2007 and 2008.


@Paul Kirk - The main reason Webber has had a harder season than Vettel is because he has made life hard for himself thanks to his qualifying and starts (often being beaten in one of those by Mclarens or Ferraris). Vettel has still triumphed in some difficult situations, like winning in Span and Monaco, plus taking poles away from the Mclarens like in Hungary, Italy and Japan.

I agree that Mark Webber hasn't had such a dreadful season as some people say since he did take 18 top 5s, had some good overtakes and scored more points than last year. However all that clearly highlights is how good Vettel has been, with 10 more wins and 134 more points.

Would Vettel make more mistakes in a midfield car? Maybe, but judging from the time he spent in the midfield in his career, he wouldn't make many and would still shine and finish well ahead of where his car should be, unlike a lot of other drivers.


I see a patern emerging, people are trying to figure out if Vetal is any good or not! Well imho we have to admit he is a good driver, he can get a good time out of the car to qualify well which places him at an advantage over everybody else on the grid because he starts in front. As for his racing skills, we haven't seen many this season, but we have seen Mark Webber's racing skills and nobody can deny that Mark is a good racer. We have seen Mark being handycaped by poor starts/poor tactics by the team, and other things that have made Mark's races far more difficult than Vetal's (stuck behind other cars) and as we all know if you lose a few 10ths here and a few 10ths there, life becomes difficult. Personally I believe Mark's season has been difficult for him and Vetal's season has been easy for him and I'm sure RBR has had a hand in that. But at the same time we must agree that the RBs are definately the quickest qualifying package and their clever DRS design and usage (for qualli) not to mention other aspects of the car, helps the drivers be at the pointy end. I'm really sad for Mark this season that he's been put in the situation that he has, but he's coped well and I don't give a stuff what enybody sez, Mark is a top competitor/driver/racer and it'll really p**s me off if RBR places him in the same situations next season! But of course they will because Vettal's their golden-haired boy! I wonder how many cans of RB they sell in Os? I certainly never buy any!
And another thing, when you've got the fastest car you're in a more confident state of mind which means you don't have to push beyond the "edge" or close to the "edge", therefore you don't make the mistakes and this is why some people seem to think Vetal is so good, but I bet he'd make some mistakes if he was in a midfield car, the same as other drivers do!


Vettel performed extremely well in the 3rd car in the days of BMW.

He even led a race when standing in for Kubica and scored points when points only went down to 8th place.



I clearly remember seeing Vettel score his first points at Indy in 07 and enjoyed watching his first win at a rainy Monza in 08--both in mid-field cars. He is still the youngest driver in F1 to earn points and the youngest driver in F1 to win a race.


Absolutely correct, Put Di Resta in the Redbull he'd barely beat Webber.


Get them to swap seats next season then, if Vettel is so good that the car makes no difference then he will still win won't he 😉


He probably wouldn't win, but I doubt di Resta would pose much of a problem anymore.


Na don't swap seats give Webber's seat to Di Resta because I know that Vettel would crush him.

If this stupid theory was correct then it goes like this:

Rosberg beat Hamilton in F3 I'm the SAME car, Webber beat Roaberg at Williams I'm the same car and Vettel beat Webber in the same car so that means Webber is better than Hamilton and Rosberg and Vettel is better than all 3 of them but hold on... Di Resta must be the best driver in F1 lol don't make me laugh.


He (Di Resta) was beated by Paffet a few years back in DTM, so perhaps the best driver in F1 is actually a reserve/test driver 😉


Interesting...... I'm not a massive Vettel fan but that doesn't mean that he's not good. I can't help but think if it was all the car then Webber should have been pushing him all the way?

I get the impression Vettel is committed, a team player and very intelligent for a young lad, can't blame Paul di resta feeling hard done by and hope that he gets a more competitive seat, couldn't take DC MK 2.0 !!

Love the website james


Yes, it takes more than just raw speed to win.


Yep Vettel seems very intelligent - a couple of chess moves ahead of his rivals maybe....


" It smacks of jealousy"

No actually it doesn't, he knows he was better than Vettel when they competed in equal cars, he knows Vettel had the best car this year (better than Webbers even), and he knows the car he was driving fell far short of what was required to get him in front of Vettel.

Let's not fall int the trap that whenever someone says something about another driver that's they're jealous, sometimes they're just stating an uncomfortable fact - ie. in F1 a superior car makes a hell of a difference on the track.


If di Resta is so good, how come his own team-mat (Sutil) beat him squarely.

Oops!!! Sutil is so good, can't be compared with di Resta / Vettel league, LOL!!!!


Let's not fall into the trap of ignoring a statement that on its face suggests jealousy or envy because we may be a di Resta supporter. It also suggests a lack of respect for his opportunity in F1. He's there now and should focus on that rather than dwell on past glory. While he didn't arrive in F1 when he wanted, some don't arrive at all. And goodness knows di Resta isn't the first and won't be the last talent to be passed over for a F1 drive because he lacked sufficient financial backing.



I think its a fair-ish comment too. Di Resta had no chance of beating Vettel in a Force India! And he isn't going to say Vettel's a better driver than me, he might as well retire now if he had that attitude. At the end of the day he has beaten Vettel before as team mates so its not all talk either.

I do think Vettel is a genius though and Di Resta will need to have a really good second season to put in the running for a seat at Mercedes or one of the other top teams.


Di Resta probably would have won a race in Vettel's car. Had his team mate been Sutil, though, Paul would have lost the titel to Adrian, because Adrian is a better driver than Paul, as 2011 proved.


Sadly I do not think Sutil will ever get a drive in a top team to prove himself?

I think Di Resta may get chance to race for a top team at which point he will have to prove his talent.

If his performance in his rookie year can be used as a measure (out performing Sutil in 8 races and out qualifying Sutil; who I rate highly; 9 times in his first year) I think he might?


I still don't think it's fair people comment on the Sutil/Di Resta battle when Sutil has 5yrs of F1 experience to Di Resta's 1yr. Di Resta is a much better driver in his first year than Sutil was (I know the Midland car was rubbish, but Sutil was making schoolboy errors for more than his first year), and look how much Sutil has improved in those 5yrs.

As rookies go, he was a goodun. People can't deny that.


Red Bull would have had to tell Sutil he no longer had a race seat to wake him up like FI did this year.

Teams need a driver to perform consistently all year not just when they are hunting for a contract renewal.


That is pure speculation as to the improvement of Sutil, yet you try to pass it off as fact.


No, Sutil struggled with the tyres in the first part of the season. His upturn in performance had nothing to do with contract renewal.


People saying "Sutil only performed to renew his contract" seem to forget he outscored di Resta in the first half of the season as well.



Would anyone say another top driver wouldn't have won Jenson's title in 09, or Schumacher's in 02 or 04?

Of course not. Great drivers grab opportunities with both hands and don't let go for anything, it's not all about jealousy or attacking each other, sometimes it's about acknowledging fact. Vettel did a superb job this year but when you have a car which is working so well doing such a superb job becomes much, much easier.

Riccardo Consulini

It reeks of Jealousy alright. Webber had the same car all season and failed to deliver.

Congratulations to Sebastian.


As much as Webber seems to be a good guy, does anybody really think of him as being among the top-shelf drivers? It's clear to me that he and Massa are the weak-link drivers in the top three teams. There has to be a problem in the team if there is such an enormous disparity between the performance of your two drivers. That problem is either strategic (i.e. a desire to have a no-1 ,no-2 structure) or it's down to the second driver not doing a good job.

Will be interesting for summer 2012 to come around - hopefully both Red Bull and Ferrari will upgrade their number twos and we'll see stronger battles at the front of the grid.

There's some truth in what Di Resta has said - stats alone say that he was at least Vettel's equal. But then Vettel has obviously developed a lot since then.


I think Mark is faster then he showed this year. Just look at 2010. He was a title contender before his injury. His weak point was the tyres this year. If he doesn't get to work with these tyres, well, he will have another 2011 season next year.

Congratz to Seb. He matured a lot, made no mistakes and took the opportunity.

Some people here fail to see what Di Resta meant in his interview. Vettel fans think just because Webber didn't deliver in the RB7, then nobody else would've.

I'm looking at it like this: in F3 Vettel was 7/10 and Di Resta 8/10. In F1 2011 Vettel was 9/10 and Webber 6/10. What if, and I'm not saying Di Resta in 2011 in the RB7 would've won the championship, but what if Di Resta could've been a 10/10 in the RB7 if this would've been his 3rd or 4th year in F1??

We would never know for now. Maybe in 2-3 years we will get a much closer performance wise between cars and we might see a good battle between these 2 guys.


He may be jealous - but that's not always a bad thing is it? - F1 isnt always fair...

He stated his opinion and has data to prove it.

Your guessing Webber had the same car than Vettel all season - but the public has seen instances this has been the case.


Of course he's jealous. He'd be a peculiar person -- and a poor F1 driver -- if he wasn't.

You're also making an assumption that Webber and Di Resta are equals, but provide no evidence for that.

I can't help but remember how often this year either Button or Hamilton has stood in the little room towelling themselves down before going on the podium, and they're commented to Vettel about how awesome his car is on a particular corner. The drivers, more than anyone, know when another car is superior. To want to be in that car, and thus be jealous of its driver, is natural.


I don't think there is any way to prove driver equivalence in F1. Even in identical machinery. Not all drivers will come to grips equally with a given mechanical/aero package even if identical, someone will always rise to the top. Change the package and the driver ranking will change, someone else may rise to the top or fall to the bottom.


Did Webber have an equal chance though, he is the firm no 2 driver at RB and has been told to drop back from Vettel in the past. We know that RB favour Vettel out of the two drivers so what does that do to Webbers mental attitude on the track?


You can't expect to be treated as number 1 strategy wise if you lose a good 5+ places on half the starts for the year.


We don't know that RB favour Vettel at all. You've just made that up.

Redbull has consistently stated that they treat their drivers equally. Where does your insight come from? A reputable source?


Silverstone quali 2010 not evidence enough?


Hahaa well done Di Resta for having the courage to utter what the whole F1 world knows.

Yes Vettel won because of his car for if you have a car that has a switch that's turned on in Q3 giving you pole, you can't go wrong!

Look, even Alonso said something along these lines & yes it may be jealousy but well placed jealousy, I say because we all know Vettel isn't the most talented driver on the grid.

Sure, Vettel has made one or two overtakes here & there (fast car helps of course) but still his race craft is non existent e.g. Germany, Silverstone and Suzuka.

Am telling you if Hammy or Alonso or Schumi would have won with the Red Bull, absolutely no one would have dared say a word.

But one thing I have been very impressed with Vettel, is his mental strength during qualifying, almost not seen any mistakes from him in that department.

Yes, it's this ''it was the car talk'' that I always wish Hammy never gets a dominant car for all it does is diminish your achievements + drives fans away so hoping Mclaren have the 2nd fastest car again just like 2008.

Say, strange to see Di Resta say he has no ties to Mercedes. Uh, it seems they only want German drivers over there so I guess Vettel still has a fair way to go before landing the Ferrari ride.


"Am telling you if Hammy or Alonso or Schumi would have won with the Red Bull, absolutely no one would have dared say a word."

That proves it then. The robots who continue to ignore Vettel's improved racecraft and excellent results in 2007-08 have double standards.


Agree: In fact I am sure that in that situation there would all of a sudden be a tonne of anecdotal evidence on the chat boards that somehow the Red Bull was not the fastest car out there and that the victory was entirely due to superlative driver skill.


"Sure, Vettel has made one or two overtakes here & there (fast car helps of course) but still his race craft is non existent e.g. Germany, Silverstone and Suzuka."

He passed 3 cars in 1 lap to get the win at Barcelona, Pulled a brilliant pass round the outside of Rosberg at Blanchmont at Spa, Pulled that move round the outside of Alonso on the grass at Monza & pulled off a couple other passes through the year yet people still question his race craft?

How many cars did Vettel collide with while overtaking cars this season? None!

Those who still question his race craft either refuse to rate him or havn't watched the races because if they had they would have seen him racing/passing cars on many occasions through the season.


Its a lot easier to pass cars when you've not only got the fastest car but the one with the most downforce. For those that say Vettel is the most dominant driver they've seen, they obviously haven't seen enough. Its great that there are a lot of bandwagon bandits that are singing of his genius, I'll reserve judgement till he wins a title in a car that isn't clearly the best car with the best team. Wait...he won the title twice in a car that won the constructors championship twice? Wow. Let's throw him a pioneer parade.


I agree with David A. Are there any WDC who did not have the best machinery at his disposal to take the title? If so I imagine it would be a tiny deficit at most.


Actually, downforce won't help you as much as top speed, as the car really suffers in another car's wake. Sure, having a fast car helps, but I'm sure it's easier to overtake when you are 10 km/h faster down the straight even before KERS/DRS.


Vettel gets the plaudits he does because he has clearly performed well since the year of his debut, 2007, which included a couple of years where he was driving far from the fastest car. He isn't "the most dominant driver they've seen", considering that Schumacher won 5 in a row. But for a 24 year old, he's done brilliantly for himself and is as good as anyone on the current grid. Of course he's had the best car to win the title, but that's basically the same as practically every champion.


When he was under pressure to win the champioship in 2010, he was an etirely different person. You can say the WDC gave him confidence in himself, and he has developed since then. That is probably true, but the pressure has not there.

Even his 'brillaint defending under heavy pressure' at Barcelona and Monaco were nothing, really. Hamilton could not get anywhere near to passing Vettel in Barcelona, and passing anything at Monaco is virtually a miracle in itself (which Button, I belive, said he wasnt trying, he was waiting for Vettel's tires to pack in). Compared to, say, Imola 2005 where Alonso had to hold behind SCHUMACHER, who was all over the back of him, or Imola 2006 where the roles were reversed, the pressure Vettel has had this season is very, very little.

The 3 cars in 1 lap at Barcelona need to be put into context. When your car is 1 second a lap faster than the rest of the field, and on tires 3-5 times that much faster (he had just pitted; fresh tires), overtaking becomes a non-event. The overtakes themselves show this, he just plain out-gripped them.

Drivers dont tend to defend to hard, if at all, against drivers on much fresher tires that they arent racing against.

I belive the Blanchimont pass was also with a set of fresh tires, as it was on Rosberg? Cant say anything more on that, as I honestly dont remember seeing it myself.

Monza was good.

Off the top of my head, I can think of only one other pass he did without an over-effective DRS (dull racing system!), and that was on the opening lap in Korea on Hamilton, which was more of Hamilton falling asleep than anything else.

If a couple of passes means you have race craft (well, they all do I suppose, but its all relative) then please consider that even Massa overtakes cars from time to time, like on Rosberg in Monaco (I belive it was outside the DRS zone, but im not sure). Or his double pass on Webber and Button in Korea on the opening lap, and I belive he did a couple in Hungary in wet weather.

Thats not to say Vettel isnt good, or cant overtake/race. He is, and he can, even if he isnt as good as another driver.


Biased much? I am a Schumacher fan but come on, Imola was a track where u can't overtake unless someone makes a mistake. Both Alonso and Schumj admitted that. There wasn't any DRS or KERS back then it's much easier to defend. I bet u r an Alonso fan.

So who do you think has a better race craft?Lewis? *cough* Who do u think could have done a better job in that redbull?


Indeed. I don't think I've seen a better performance by a driver in a dominant car as I have Vettel, this season. And I don't think the RB was as dominant in many races, as Vettel made it look. Even in Canada, Jackie Stewart confirmed Vettel was carrying an issue with the car. He learnt last year and moved forward several steps.


I made a booboo here, you were talking about the season, and I went off on my own about who was most dominant in recent history.

I agree with you that 2002 Ferrari was extremely strong in race pace, which is not the case fully comparing Red Bull and MP. I think you have a case about Vettel's domination because the season was so long - so his domination seems longer than Schumi's 2002 season. But in terms of steamrolling the competition, and dominating outright - 2002 has few equals. I remember going to a GP without even a hint of doubt that Schumi would win. Which is why Monaco was such a treat.

Finally, I don't think McLaren underperformned their car - the car was not equal to Red Bull. RBR found the magic bullet - that is start the race from P1 and you're pretty much 1/2 way to 25 points. And so they did. The fact that they did shows that their car is better, yes in Quali trim - but better nonetheless. How many races would McLaren win if they started from P1 as many times this year?


I think you'll find Schumacher had a more dominant car relative to the opposition, than Vettel had in 2011 - look at no. of RedBull victories v no. of Mclaren victories. Both Mclare n drivers underperformed relative to the car imho. Schumacher's team mate won 3 times (despote team-orders!) in 2002 and Ferrari only lost a couple of races.


Sorry, but Schumi tops the domination charts. Not just for the 5 years, but for 2002. Did I remind everyone about the 5 years with #1? Good, some of us here seem to have short memories declaring Vettel domination biggest ever. He has 3 more years to go before we can make that declaration.

Quick, someone tell me what the points lead would be for over second in 2011 under 10,8,6,5,4,3,2,1 and 10, 6, 4,3,2,1


Sure thing Paul. Only problem with your thinking that it's all about the car, is a certain Mr Mark Webber in the other corner. If it wasn't for Vettel's transmission problem in Brazil, he would have gone winless in car that was surely one of the greats. A great car doesn't equate to greatness. A car is a tool, some are better than others, some are worse. Granted a driver can only do so much with a sub par car, but there have been plenty of examples where drivers in great cars have done little. Thus the eternal argument as to whether it's all car, all driver or a mixture of both will rage on until such a time in the future where drivers remotely pilot them around tracks.


The cars were identical, the difference was the tyres. Vettel loved them, Webber hated them and has admitted as much.

Vettels the better driver but he didn't get that much better than Mark in the space of only 3 months. It'll probably get a bit closer again next year but I still expect Vettel to come out on top.


To me:

MW did not have an equal car all year. The difference to last year where he was a title contender till the very last race is simply way to big. Never ever did he shine against SV this year.

The last race was a simple thank you from the team.


Mark Webber scored more points tha nhe did in 2010, so the gap clearly is down to Vettel making less mistakes, maturing as a driver and not having his car break down when in the lead.


A nice pat on the head and cookie to say welldone son


Di Resta is a talented driver for sure... but since 2006 a lot of things have changed. And driving an F3 car faster than your teammate doesn't automatically mean you're also faster in F1.


Uncharacteristically churlish comments from PDR. He just needs to get on with it. What happened in 2006 is irrelevant; there is no telling how much the two drivers have improved since then, relative to each other.

Remember that Frentzen was supposed to be a better driver than Schumacher....


Yeah, and Jackie Stewart said Jan Magnussen was a better talent in F3 than Senna.

Brundle went head to head with Senna in F3, was not a front line Grand Prix driver.

Sutil must be better than Fangio.

Newey didn't win a title, I think, between Hakkinen in 1999 and last year... noone seemed to think his cars were the unfair advantage for a decade or so.

Heikki got smashed by Hamilton in the same car, this year he's in everyone's top 5.

Heidfeld outscored Kimi, Webber, Alesi, Kubica, maybe Massa too (?) in the same car, never looked like winning a GP.

Raikkonen looked uninspired sometimes at Ferrari, even next to Massa, but he's still the last guy to win a title for them.

John Watson outscored Lauda the first two years of Lauda's comeback. Yet, he's not a guy generally mentioned as being in the same league. Of course, Lauda's third year at McLaren, he won the WDC.

di Resta is a talent, so are Kamui, Perez, Alguersuari, The Hulk. There are so many factors that go into them ending up with Schumacher's career or Mika Salo's.

Spin spin spin, round round round...


Well said, Dave. This covers it all. I note that Arundel and Taylor also thought that they were better than Jim Clark... In like manner, MW, relative to Vettel. He may prove me wrong, but right now, MW = DC.

di Resta is a talent, certainly. But we'll see if he's able to raise his game enough to justify the bravado.


Di Resta is an incredible talent, and I reckon he is every bit as good as Vettel is.

He simply is telling it how he is, that Vettel won this year because he had the best car. That is how it is in F1 these days, rarely does a champion win without the best car and Vettel has not come close to that achievement yet.


Di Resta does seem to deserve a place in F1.

But reading too much into what happened a few years ago in another category of racing is not always a reliable indicator...Heinz-Harald Frentzen famously comes to mind.


He didn't beat his team mate in the same car whereas Vettel did , so what makes him think he's better than Vettel. And why does everyone assume he is at FI next year? IMO he is severely overrated. It has to be Sutil and Nico next year. If Di resta can't beat Sutil then give Nico a chance.


Nico Rosberg is at Mercedes man. You got to read the papers more..


Hulkenberg is also a Nico, you also got to read the papers more...


2006 was a long time agin and I'm not sure any comparisons then are valid now. Vettel last year and Vettel this year are two completely different drivers. Not all drivers improve at the same rate. Some simply never improve. The minor and junior categories in every sport are filled with champions over the decades who couldn't take the next step up.

I respect Di Resta for what he has achieved in his rookie year, but that's as far as it goes.

Saying I beat Vettel 5 years ago is a nice memory for history. Nothing else.


Too Bad, F1 is about moving forward ... not dwelling in the past.

Try beating Nico Hulkenberg first.


I love reading the defensive comments of armchair experts. Paul is "in the sport" and a professional. He has a right to his qualified opinion. As for Mark driving the "same" car, no, they didn't share, he had a similar car. And different driving abilities. Read the article correctly before your fingers tap frantically at the keyboard. Seb won the title through a combination of ingredients. He didn't win at the ROC. Ergo, NOT the best driver in the world.


uh... a 1 minute race tells you he isn't the best driver in the world?


I don't think driving a Formula 1 car is really comparable to what they drive in the ROC, but if I'm wrong then you could claim Vettel is the best driver because he has the fastest time in the reasonably priced car on Top Gear..


His time set in the dry, as I recall, whereas both Button and Hamilton had a damp track to contend with.


Good reply, and no, the cars aren't the same as F1, thats why its a better test in ROC. As for TG's reasonably priced car, you have me at an advantage as I haven't seen Di Resta's time in that car.... yet.


Quote : "he won the championship because he had the best car. He did his job, but another driver in the same car would probably have achieved the same results"

Erm... Mark Webber...?

It's an inherent fact of Motorsport that the car plays a huge part in which driver wins, but di Resta's comment ignores the fact that Vettel completely and utterly *destroyed* the only person who had the same machinery.


So that makes him a better driver than Webber, within RBR. Agreed, but I think the point everyone is trying to make is that the best driver in RBR won the World Championship in the best car in F1. And that could have been one of several drivers in a RBR car. But could Vettel have won in a Ferrari, or McLaren. Just as JB won in the Brawn, it depends on the combination of driver ability and mechanical performance.


Although Webber wouldn't admit it, red bull are set up just like Ferrari. They concentrate on ensuring the car is perfect for one driver. This is why Webber was no where near him.


This ^, even if the other driver is winning the championship (2010). I'm not a fan of this kind of team set-up, but clearly a lot of people don't mind. I wish they wouldn't pretend it's not happening though.


Jealous, but not without reason. Would anyone have won the championship in that Red Bull? No, Mark Webber wouldn't. Would Di Resta have won in the same situation? Probably. Would Di Resta have beaten Vettel in that car? Don't know but would be great to see him have the opportunity to try.

Vettel is (obviously) very fast but thus far he's had it rather easy, in F1 he's beaten Sebastian Bourdais and Mark Webber. Di Resta may have a point, maybe he is quicker than Vettel. Though if he is, all hail a future world champion: Adrian Sutil...


If Red Bull gave full support to Webber, building the car around him for instance, then I suspect his results this year would have been significantly better.


Di Resta is pointing out that he has beaten Vettel in the past. He is selling himself to the market and making a point that might just sway things his way. Whether he wins a race or becomes a Rosberg ( well regarded, never won a race with a question mark over him) or a Vettel ( won loads of races, 2 championships etc) remains to be seen.

Another thought who is the better driver, Di Resta or Webber, I think most would vote for Webber.


Was Di Resta that great this year?Just seemed to tool around in what was clearly the fifth or maybe even 4th best car at the seasons end.Dont remember him making a lot of great moves.Think the British press got a bit carried away and he aint the most charismatic driver is he...Give me Pastor Maldonado any day!


Pastor maldanado, now that's funny?


I like my drivers to have something about them...Di Resta's a nice guy but he aint exactly exciting is he!?Pastor's a hard man who wasnt afraid to drive into Lewis at Spa!Proper driver!and quick!

Roll on 2012 when we'll see how good PDR is, up against the Hulk.


He is right,let's put Alonso or Hamilton in that car and I bet my house they would do a better job Webber,I do think Red Bull lean more towards Vettel,like the front wing saga last year proved.

mohamed south africa

A bit like heintz hareld frentzen who in equal machinery beat michael schumacher. And in f1 he had a faster car in 1997 yet he could not beat schumacher


Or even get close to Villeneuve.



Vettel didn't win becaus he had the best car. He won because he finished firts at 11/19 races, and made few mistakes.


Because he had the best car...


Does this mean that Paul is fighting Vettle for a seat at Mercedes in the long run? After MS leaves.


Well said Paul. Vettel won with races to spare as his team mate wasn't able to compete or indeed allowed to (silverstone). But we are comparing a hungry young talented driver against an average driver in his twilight years. No real barometer in my opinion.


When there's a car as good as Red Bull's this year you don't really often get to see a driver's real value, he just has to drive it well enough. Vettel was arguably more impressive when he managed to keep his head and pull it out last year when it seemed like he could have lost. Vettel had to compensate for the car sometimes. Webber fading away this year was just as important to this perceived success as Vettel's lack of mistakes/reliability issues. No doubt Di Resta is very talented and could probably do a great job in a top car, hopefully one day he'll be allowed to prove it.


I am a big fan Paul, but these type comments detracts from what has been a stellar start to what could be a fantastic F1 career for you! Vettel ran in Red Bulls underling team, his well grounded attitude coupled with a display of ability rightfully earning him a seat in the premier team. He earned it......fair and square. Baby steps. Let your actions continue talking ontrack!

What this type of comment leads me too believe is that maybe your seat is not as secure as you'd like?


the argument is webber didn't challenge when he is in the same car but I think the car isn't suited to webbers style of driving and he suffered for it possibly why Button drove better than Hamilton this year despite his problems, I think Di Resta has a point that Vettel has the best car but Vettel has made the best use of it


Delighted to see Paul di Resta do so well this year, but surprised to read his comments. As others have said, Sebastian Vettel saw of his teammate pretty comprehensively. And, on the other hand, Paul finished second in his own team.

So, if, given the same car, Paul would have beaten Seb, how well would Adrian Sutil have done?


If you're the type prepared to go round Eau Rouge flat out you need absolute self belief.

Di Resta's showing a bit of that, that's all. He'll never find himself with a title winning opportunirty if he acts like he's only in F1 to make the numbers up.


That was 5 years ago. It doesn't guarantee a repeat.

i wonder what Webber and/or his fans, would think about his remark about another driver could do it.


You know what this means, Paul?

Lucas Di Grassi is still better than you.


Vettels car was always better than webbers, vettel had the updates before mark, by the time mark had the same parts fitted to his car a race later the rest of the field had caught up performance wise, hence the difference in results, so yeah I would love to see De Resta and Vettel in a fair battle on track and finally put this debate to bed


Are you serious? This has the be the worst comment out here. Both had the same cars, with the same parts whole season...


If that were true then why was mark so close in 2010, yet so far off the pace in 2011? Well known fact that teams produce update parts in a hurry so to gain a performance advantage over others that they tend to only often be only able to bring 1 part in a rush to a particular event, and look at whats recently come to light at benneton in the early nineties, I arrest my case


You could say in 2010 they ended up closer than they should have been because Vettel was the one with mechanical problems plaguing his season.


It's no secret that mark had reliability issues plaguing his season, mainly kers related causing him to be slower, yet vettel had 95 percent reliability, lucky maybe? Or was mark running older generation kers?


He was just slower. Please show any proof that Vettel and Webber have a different car.


And by off the pace I mean in relation to vettel


Webber didnt have the same car. It was plagued with problems. He was the test car. All teams do it. Always have an always will. They can never make parts fast enough and the best parts always go to one car and the untested parts go on the second. You all call yourself F1 fans but you have no idea how it all works.


Funny how, when in 2010 Vettel's car kept breaking, he was still the one that Red Bull was favouring.

It's called luck.


I like the piece on the 2010 championship on your blog btw.


How do we know that Webber had the same exact car for certain?


How do we know he didn't?


Game, Set, Match... Moot Point.

Thankyou linesmen, thankyou ballboys...


I still stand by my words and PDR just acknowledged the same fact. There will be very little to choose between the existing F1 drivers if all were to have been given Vettel's car...

Spot on mate...

Thanks for highlighting this James.


That's a fantastic statement from Paul!

He has beaten Vettel and basically says: if I were in the other Red Bull he wouldn't have won it that easily.

He definitey positions himself as a Vettel-beater and he has the credentials to prove it.

If Paul gets a good start to mid 2012 and if there is a team out there (read: McLaren who still need to work aout a deal with Hamilton) that needs a driver that can beat Vettel, then Paul would be on that short list.

Go Paul! (I would not be surprised if DC instructed you to make that statement)


Then Sutil must be the best driver ever, you know the guy who easily beat DI Resta.


I agree with Paul. I love this sport but I have to say having watched for so many years that it's much more car-dependent than driver-dependent.

Yes, there were two Red Bull's on track, but Mark had a bad season imo and I believe that the extreme blown diffusers played a large part, in that they don't suit his style.

The example I'll use to prove my "car dependant" point is Jenson Button. In 2008 he and Rubens were trailing around at the back of the field and both looked like their careers were in their twilight, but then 2009 came along! And shock-horror, they're winning races/championships.

I don't believe for one second that either of them were driving any differently to the previous season.

Ask yourself this question too, would McLaren have signed Button straight from Honda? They just suddenly remembered about him because his name was at the top of the championship, it's a joke.

F1 is a bizarre sport where you have to be in the right place at the right time, Vettel is and Paul is still isnt.



The car is crucial: why else has Button scored points + had podiums and Rubens practically nothing in the past two years?


Yeah, this comment is absolutely amazing.

But it was Button and not Barrichello the Champion, so one should be better in a given time.

This year Vettel was better, maybe Di Resta, Alguersuary or Hulk will be better than Vettel in the future, in the right car.


Spot on.

Just wait until next year, Cars always have a 2-3 year cycle.

With no blown diffuser's it will hopefully be a quality season.


OK what about 2010 when Vettel didnt lead the championship all year and then suddenly won it and had to fend of a very strong challenge from Alonso. Its a clear case of sour grapes. PDR has to show on track if he is better than vettel. In all adversity, you keep your head down and move forward and if he is really good some one like Mclaren or Ferrari will eventually pick him up.


Is it sour grapes if you are posed the question -

"you beat Vettel in the same car when you were in the same team didn't you"

What should Di Resta have answered?

Likewise, do you think only Vettel could have won in this years RBull? I am sure there are at least 5 or 6 other drivers who could have dine so and Di Resta wants to believe he could be one such driver, if given the opportunity in the future!

I think Vettel has been fantastic, I hope for a closer season when he can show how good he is similar to last year (2010). I also hope Di Resta is given a top 3 car and can prove if h has hat it takes or not?


I think the blown diffuser suited the way Vettel drives more than Webber, it will be interesting to see next season if Webber can be more of a match and, if Vettel is struggling without the BD, whether he will benefit from the increased confidence this season will have given him. Vettel has progressed this season his overtaking skills have definitely improved and he has become a better driver if only for that reason but also all round imo.


DiResta was beaten by a teammate (Sutil) in a whole F1 season. Vettel has not been beaten yet by a teammate in F1 over a year. Does this mean Sutil is better than Vettel and DiResta as well judging by DiRestas own logic ? By beating Hulkenberg next year DiResta can prove he is the real deal.

Vettel experienced a tremendous lerning curve over the past 4 years in F1, some others never live up to their pre F1 potential and some others seem to stop developing after 1 or 2 years in F1. I think its fair to say Vettel at this very point is a better driver than DiResta who is still a rookie.


I think as the RB car is designed with Vettel in mind Webber likely had to compromise on some things. I think Webber can be lacklustre but I don't think the cars are entirely 'equal'.

To me Alonso is the best driver. Vettel is good + has improved since last year but having the best car on the grid + a team who is fully behind you help. I wish Newey will go to a different team: results could be interesting.


You can google this, but the car is build around Webber, because he is the largest person of the 2. Words from RBR themselves.


Building a car around a drivers size is a different proposition to building a car around a driving style.


I mada typo, obviously, it should be "isn't much different"


Webber always said his driving style is much different from Vettels. So what is the problem then?


The handling characteristics of the car will be built to suit Vettel, which I suspect is what Persi was meaning.


Sorry Paul, McLaren had the best car. Redbull was just behind them. What made RedBull look good was that they played their own game, and took coolheaded decisions. As a team and package, RedBull were the best. They had a gameplan and stuck to it. McLaren's catchup strategy mostly worked in extreme variable conditions, and from the sideline looked like they were changing gameplan during races, which is not bad, but they lacked the winning gameplan. Vettel with the same team driving a McLaren would've taken WDC earlier. And I'm not slacking off RedBull's car. It was a good but not as superior as it is made out to be, focussed driving and good planning helped a great deal.


Not so! The Red Bull car was the most agile by a country mile throughout the season. The McLaren Car only seemed as fast because they have good straight line speed due to the Mercedes engine which countered the Red Bull's agility in the medium to high speed corners when the setup intervened to give McLaren an advantage on some circuits, but by and large the Red Bull car is in a class of it's own by having a supremely efficient aero package and by generating more downforce whilst minimising drag. - A superb effort by Adrian Newey's design team.


I'm not denying RedBull had a good car, I just cannot see them having similar success if Vettel was not in the team.


Oh! I can certainly agree with you about McLaren as they threw away a lot of points particularly with Lewis Hamilton. - I reckon they potentially cost him 2 wins! Monaco was an absolute disaster not sending him out for a banker lap at a place where he had a good chance of pole. I think Hamilton has become demoralised by the team. I'm sorry to say but I think they need to get rid of Whitmarsh and bring in someone new to run a tighter ship. Actually straightline speed isn't that important within limits, cornering ability is almost everything. The other thing of course is that the Red Bull produces very low drag for a given downforce level. I agree the McLaren is not a bad car, but it is not a championship winning car, take away the extra power and where would they be. Aero is king I'm afraid currently. - Personally I'm all for less aero dependancy. I think any one of the top drivers and perhaps a few in mid field such as Sutil could have done what Vettel did given the car.


The engine is the only reason why I put McLaren 1st by a small margin. RedBull with Merc engine would be untouchable, and would've most likely taken much more P1's during the season. I am talking about the car as a package. I really think if McLaren car was in RedBull team on raceday, McLaren would've had way better results. The McLaren is a underrated car because of "mismanagement" What I'm also trying to say is that McLaren's inability to run the team properly denied the fans more action. Vettel was good, and I am very happy about it. But fans who say it was a one man show should blame teams who was able to challenge, but incompetent to do so.


I'm with you in as much that the whole of the Red Bull team operated to a very high level with few mistakes, but I maintain that the Red Bull car was supreme by some margin. The Red Bull's weakness is engine power, but in terms of aero and downforce it is in a class of it's own, and that's the determining factor. If for example the Red Bull had more power to the same level as the Mercedes engine the car would have been even better. As I've already mentioned with the Pirelli tyres and a fast car Vettel was more often than not able to place the car on pole, open a gap, and maintain it. - Relative easy thing to do given the circumstances and conditions, but also it has to be said under normal conditions practically impossible for anyone to catch him because any driver that pushes REALLY hard would be penalised by rapid tyre wear. I think all the top drivers have strengths and weaknesses, Vettel of course is on the crest of a wave and feeling extremely confident and so much of this sport is about confidence, and of course a car like the Red Bull gives a driver just that because it hangs onto the corners better than anything else.



There were probably a few drivers with the same commitment as Vettel, but he was in a different class with his mental focus. His ability to adapt with the new tyres is proof of it. If there was a scale where cars could be measured, then I'm still convinced McLaren would've been @ 9/10 and RedBull no less than 8/10. The team setup and crucial decisions taken by the team has put the in a class of their own which complemented the car so much because it was winning races. McLaren was unsure who to back, so they went for the easy option that is liked by many fans, and that's equal status. If Button had little bit more backing, I'm sure Vettel still would still be champion, but with more Button in his mirrors. McLaren was unable to make the right decisions majority of the time in terms of strategy. I still stand what I said before. Vettel in a McLaren with his RedBull mechanics and engineer would've taken it (WDC) sooner. That car was brilliant, because without it, no championship would be possible. With the whole team working as a well oiled machine, well you will hate me, he would've put the MercGP on the podium 2 or 3 times.

PS. nice to exchange interesting ideas 🙂


A lot more than a good car, but the best car. The McLaren car while good really was not good enough to challenge for the championship as I previously explained. That's not to diminish Vettel's achievement as he grasped the opportunity with both hands and delivered the results. There is however another factor in that Vettel was able to get on with the Pirelli tyres better than his team mate. Vettel's success last year was really by default as Alonso would have won it had Ferrari not messed up their strategy in the last race, but what Di Resta has said is factual. Any one of the top drivers is capable of delivering similar results given the car. Of course because of all of this Vettel's confidence is sky high which again has added another dimension to his season, but it should be remembered that it is 80-90% car /10-20% driver.


Really not sure how you can argue a car that took 18/19 poles and 12/19 wins (most of which were pretty comfortable) wasn't the best car of the season.



That Red Bull was the fastest car around Monza, whilst having the lowest straight-line speed of any team. That takes a serious machine through the corners!

Don't under-estimate how good the Red Bull was. I'm not sure if you saw it and listened to it in the flesh - I did - and it was like a different formula from the rest.


I saw the same race, I just think that RedBull & Vettel combination extracted 100% if not more out of the car. McLaren did not look like they how to do the same. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big Vettel fan and think he deserves more credit as a driver. He makes the car look very good.


I agree totally with Paul. I think its refreshing hearing other drivers speak openly about fellow competitors.

The RB7 was in no shadow of a doubt the best car by far this year. So the fight for the WDC title was simple. Vettel vs Webber and when you put it in that concept, there is always going to be one winner. Vettel hands down every time. There is no competition when you have the best car and it simply falls down to the challenge between team mates. Don't get me wrong, I acknowledge and applaud Vettels consistency this year but as Paul puts it, he done what he had to do. The real test for Vettel would be to see what kind of season he has in an uncompetitive car. Very similar to lets say Lewis when he won the title in 2008 and had a dog of a car in 2009. He still came away with 2 wins that year.

Vettel is a two time world champion and is very quick but I think there are many many doubters out there who still question his race craft and ability to overtake.

Lets hope for the sports sake that next year RB8 is not up front in a league of its own again.


You should have seen him drive in the Torro Rosso. His first win and first pole. And that Torro Rosso was far from a good car.


Completely different and one off circumstances. It was a wet Monza weekend and the Torro Rosso was set up and working extremely well that particular weekend too. Vettel qualified on Pole and his team mate Bourdais managed 4th. The usual suspects during qualifying all took a gamble and got caught out with the rain intensity and as a result qualified completely out of position. Lewis qualified 15th, Raikkonen 14th, Alonso 8th and Kubica 11th.

Monza doesn't require any significant skill level and there is not much a driver can do to make a huge difference either.

Engine power levels are similar across the top engine manufactures (STR running Ferrari power) and wing setting are pretty much set to the minimum level. So even though the STR was regarded as a minor team compared to the top 4, the conditions at Monza levelled the playing field.

It was a weekend that went perfectly well for Vettel as the conditions stayed consistent too. All he had to do was drive his race and beat a not very convincing Hiekki Kovalinen.

I personally do not recognise his triumph at Monza as anything top drawer. The circumstances played into his teams chances and they took full advantage of it.


I wouldn't say Vettel is the best overtaker on the grid (but he definitely has passed cars of similar speed like Hamilton at Korea, Webber at Spa or Massa and Button in Spain, Alonso at Monza, Hungary), but what many people miss is that overtaking isn't everything.

His qualifying pace is for me, the best on the grid- even when his car was capable of being matched on a Saturday. Hungary, Japan and Abu Dhabi being examples of SV maximising his car better than the Mclaren drivers. Even in Monza, he shouldn't have been on pole by 0.5 seconds, but managed it by improving on his final lap while Hamilton and Button faltered.

I could only see Alonso or a Schumacher doing as well as Vettel has this year, and even if Vettel was in the Mclaren, he would have performed better than their current drivers, who have either been error prone or poor qualifiers.


Hang on a minute Veteran! Im not saying the guy is no good, he is.

In my opinion only, I still think he lacks race craft and the ability to overtake cars of similar speed.

He won this years title not because he is head and shoulders over every other driver but simply because his car was so superior to the rest and his team mate is a good average driver.


Then please take a look at his complete season with Torro Rosso. I doubt you have ever payed attention to him that season. He was very good all year.


It was essentially the same as the Red Bull - the Red Bull that put Webber on the front row in Silverstone - but with a stronger Ferrari engine. It was no Ferrari, but was probably closer to the pace of Ferrari than Mercedes is this year.


I'd not say it's (mostly) jealousy, but if I were Webber I'd be upset to hear this! Surely not just any John Q. F1 driver can pilot the RBR as well as Vettel did. I'd say more than half the field can't, so what he said is inaccurate at best.


Not jealousy. That accusation is only for those who sign up to the 'stunning super brilliant genius' school of Hyperbole F1. It is a circus and requires its stars and the more it hypes them, the more its followers pay homage with equally hyped remarks. Truth is there are lots of drivers who would have done a better job - even Mark Weber - given the same car and effort behind them.

Let's say he's very lucky and I think smart enpough to know he is - but he plays the game so 'stumm'. Well, really, they all do.


There's just a bit missing from that: Vettel won because he had the fastest car AND he was significantly faster than Webber AND he didn't make too many mistakes. It's not the car alone.

In other words, he deserved to be the champion.


I'm a big fan of di Resta but don't agree. Firstly, well done to him for noticing what has been the case for a long long time - its most likely that the guy in the best car will win. But Webber had the best car and didn't win, it's not easy to spot the flaw in the logic.


I dissagree with your point. All it proves is that Vettel is a better, quicker and a more consistent driver compared to Webber. The RB7 was still the class of the field and all Vettel had to do was drive within himself and take multiple wins. He sometimes had to work a little harder for certain pole positions but thats it. It was by far one of the easiest driver titles a driver has taken. Very similar to Schumis title when he wrapped it up by the half way point.


I'm not entirely certain Webber always had an identical car. There have been enough examples of Vettel getting preferential treatment from RBR in terms of tactics and upgrades...


And yet Vettel was matched him on points in 2010 despite two mechanical failures while on the way to wins at the start of the year. I'm nowhere near convinced that Webber has the speed of his teammate, and three years worth of results and a 43-12 qualifying record show it.


Name one that happened in 2011.


Maintain the gap...


Yes, if the mighty Webber isn't winning, it's always because he's getting the short straw, nit because someone else is faster...


British Grand Prix 2010 where they took the new spec front wing off his car and slapped it on Vettel's?


Look at it differently, if he was not in the best car could he have won the championship? Not likely. What if Alonso or Hamilton was his teammate?

We won't know until we see how he does/acts in a crap car. Not too many drivers are given a potential WDC car three years in a row.


He was in a Torro Rosso before being with RedBull. He won races with a car nobody thought could even get a podium place.


He won one race in the STR. In that same race, his teammate Bourdais qualified 4th, also far above the usual weight of the STR.

A botched start meant he was dead last. This did not stop Bourdais from posting a race lap that was 1.5 seconds faster than Vettel.

In short, the car was hooked up that day, and with Bourdais' race pace so much quicker than Vettel's.

All this means is that as usual, he had one of the best cars that day.

The fact he won _one_ race in the STR is evidence that he could be great. Seeing him in an inferior car if Red Bull drops the ball (which Newey has done before here and there) and saddled with a top notch team mate like IMO Alonso would be proof.

I have yet to see proof, as he has only had to beat DC and Webber.

When I do see him in a crap car, I will be able to better judge him as a complete driver.


Besides Monza, have you seen him drive that car for the whole season? It was amazing 🙂


I don't see it as jealously, rather a driver trying to claim his worth. However by the same analogy, Sutill would out class Vettell and Hamilton out class Sutill.

Past performance is no gaurentee of future sucsess. Over the years we've seen many a formula three star struggle in F1. Kovalienen and Rosberg have struggled to greater or lesser degrees.

Vettal has developex over the few years he's been in F1 and has turned speed and mistakes into speed and near perfection.

For sure the car plays its part, but Vettel clearly feels comfortable and confident in the car under him where Webber has to his own admission been les so.

It's similar to the situation that Patrick Head spoke of in 1992, where Mansell was much more comfortable than Patrese. While the FW14 was a dominant car, it wasn't Head commented that it as actually difficult to drive in that it didn't provide the most comunicative feedback. Mansell was able to live with that where Patrase was not.

Just because Di Resta beat Vettel in formula three in the same car, it does not gaurentee the same would be true if they where to share a car of the same design and engineering today.


So that means that sutil is the best of them all?

But on a serious note i would love to see Di Resta in a good car witch is on par with vettels.

I would be curious if he could beat vettel again.


It surprised me that you wrote something like this James. Of course I wasnt there, so I cant judge how he ment it. But I think most of us think the RB is simply the best car, almost every driver will tell that he can beat Vettel in a RB. ( di Resta actually WAS faster ct Vettel in a similar car ) I think he is just realizing that personal talent in F1 is not enough, and pointing out that he needs a fast car and a number 1 team status. Thats what they all want obviously.


Simply put Paul's comments are the truth. The car was head and shoulders above the rest.


To my mind these comments smack of rationality not jealousy. I'll only believe the hype about vettel when I see him challenging for a WDC in a car that's not in a class of its own.


Yet every other champ used the fastest car to win the title or benefitted from mechanical issues to win it in a close second fastest.


@David A - There might be two ways I could look at this. Maybe we could check and see how many poles a world champion in a year (Kimi Raikkonen who is fast over a single lap only got 3 poles in his title winning year) got to determine how fast the winning driver's car was, but probably the best way is how many world champions failed to win the constructors title also. You don't have to look far for the latter, Lewis Hamilton the following year won the WDC but Mclaren didn't win the Constructors. These are just two examples in the last 4 years. In terms of teams with extremely fast cars in a year, the Red Bull this year is up there with the best ever so your comparison is really pointless and just noise, their sweep of the front row this year means the proof is in the pudding.

Other champions who won the WDC without picking up Constructor's title in the same year include Michael Schumacher, Mika Hakkinen, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Keke Rosberg, the list goes on. Maybe you should spend more time learning about F1 in years past as opposed to trying to argue an uneducated comment when you are called out on it.


@F1Fan4Life – But in 2008, Heikki Kovalainen was driving the second Mclaren, while Kimi Raikkonen was in the second Ferrari. HK’s lackluster performance contributed to Mclaren not winning the WCC, and still suggests that Hamilton won the championship in a very strong car. And he did benefit from superior car reliability to the Ferraris that year. Hamilton should have won the championship, or finished a close second, and he did win it in the end, by just a point. Some of your other examples are similar- a second driver who underperformed and cost them the WCC. You say that the RB7 was one of the best cars ever, and Vettel did what he should have done- get some of the best results over a season in the history of the sport.

Consider that before you start calling other opinions "uneducated".


Every other champ....really? That is laughable. [mod]


@ "F1Fan4Life" - The only laughable thing here is that you don't agree. Which champion can you prove didn't use the fastest (or very close 2nd fastest) to win the title?


I think Seb's definately bebefited from the early exposure to F1 machinery. If we look to history, wasn't Frentzen more hightly rated than Schumacher in their Mercedes days?


Di Resta's really let himself down with that remark. Perhaps he should worry about beating his own teammate first. I know it was his first season but the best do the job against their teammate straight away.

Vettel had the best car? Most probably, though it was only ever the best in his hands. But for a gearbox issue it would have been 12-0 to Vettel.

Saying "I beat Vettel in a lower formulae" is really just like Wendlinger or Frentzen saying "I was faster than Schumacher in sportscars!". Good job - go and beat your teammate in Formula 1.


Reading that statement, and then imagining the (usually) cool Di Resta actually saying it gives me the impression that this is something that has been taken in context but blown up into something bigger.

We know that some drivers perform really well when given the best equipment, however it is always impressive to see someone drag a car up the grid on talent alone. Perhaps we haven't seen as much of this in recent years as we would have liked.

There has been talk of the likes of Rosberg and Kubica having a crack at the top guys in slightly inferior equipment, however for some reason it hasn't yet happened.

As has been mentioned above Ricardo Patrese was not as effective as Nigel Mansell in the Williams when they blew everyone out of the water, but it still allowed him to do a decent job, however he only ended up winning the one race.

Even when good drivers have the same equipment (or similar) it doesn't automatically bring them up to the level of the other drivers.

I like Seb. When I heard about the amount of attention he took into getting to know the new tyres and fully understanding the new regulations, you have to hand it to him. That is the level Schumacher tried to go to even when he had the best car. Strengthening your hand even when you are winning is always desired by sportspeople, and is a big part of winning the game in F1.


Yes, di Resta won the 2006 Formula 3 Euro Series. Mario Thiessen later pointed out that the reason Vettel didn’t win was because of his busy schedule with BMW in F1 that year. In 2007, Vettel was leading the Formula Renault series when he was pulled out to replace an injured Kubica in Canada where Vettel went on to win his first point becoming the youngest driver to score a point.

Webber had the same car, engine and tyres but still couldn’t match Vettel. That says something, doesn’t it? Di Resta is one of the best drivers we have in F1 who is yet to prove his full potential. Vettel has proved this year that it is not the fastest or the best car which always wins races.

Comparing F1 with any other series is like comparing apples with oranges. Just because a driver has won a championship in another series doesn't mean he can come to F1 and beat everyone else.


People's argument that Vettel beat Webber in the same car is so weak! Vettel was lucky that he had Webber as a teammate the last two years. He barely beat him last year, remember? Webber doesn't rank high on the list of exceptional drivers!!!!


Are those who say Vettel has never been in a bad car forgetting 2008?

The STR wasn't a dog of a car but it wasn't one of the best cars either yet he scored a pole, won a race & ran strongly on several other occasions.

Also not sure Paul's comments about there F3 season is completely relevant. There have been many drivers who did well in F3 (Sometimes beating future F1 race winners/champions) & were not as good in F1 just as there has been those who didn't stand out in F3 but went on to do well in F1.

Takuma Sato for instance dominated in F3 yet didn't do anywhere near as well upon moving into F1. Mika Salo pushed Mika Hakkinen hard in F3 yet didn't show the same speed in F1. Jan Magnussen looked like the next big thing in F3 yet struggled upon moving upto F1.

Also worth remembering that Vettel beat Di Resta in the Euro F3 points standings in 2005.


We all know what happened in Monza that day. He was fortunate! The real racing happened behind him that day!!!


In what way was he fortunate?

Conditions were the same for everyone in both qualifying & the race & He put it on pole & won the race.

It wasn't as if he got lucky by setting pole on a drying track or as if he won by changing from wets to intermediate tyres at the best time or anything.

He beat everyone to pole under the same conditions in qualifying & outraced everyone under the same conditions through the race.Lewis couldn't stay with him.


Ok, maybe I initially took Paul's comments out of context.

It is true that the RB7 was the best car this year, and that contributes to why Vettel is a double world champion. But let's not forget why he is in a Red Bull. Was it by total fluke? No, it's because he showed and incredible amount of promise driving for BMW and STR earlier in his career, and it's something that happens with most of the greats.

Alonso showed promise in a Minardi- that's why he got his championship winning Renault. Senna showed promise in the Toleman and Lotus- that's why he got his championship winning Mclaren. Schumacher showed promise driving for Jordan and Benetton- that's why Benetton were moulded around him and eventually gave him 2 world titles, and later had success with Ferrari. Vettel is the same.


James, whats your take on Di Resta's debut year? I would rate it as good. The problem I have is that some of the British media appear to get carried away and hail him as superb, what does that make Sutil?


I think he did really well, especially in Singapore, where he did a completely different strategy from the other top 10 runners.

He deserves his seat and if he continues to grow as he did this year he may end up in a top 4 car in the next year or two


At first - F1 car is not F3 one. That says a lot.

You could be a winner in F3 but in F1 could be a looser. F1 is about speed, yes, but plus intellect and ability to build a team around you.

So, probably he could win in the same car ones or two, but he probably never put everything together to be a World Champion like it was done by Vettel, Schumacher, Alonso, Button, Hamilton...


And Vettel build a team around him? LOL. The RBR could be as well called Vettel Racing.

He's had all the support you could wish from a driver perspective. When he crashed into MW in Turkey, the team took his side. When he broke his wing, the team took his side, even when he was miles away in championship in 2011, the team took his side and told MW to back off.

I went karting last Saturday and was racing 3 other guys. In the first two heats I had the same kart and I was about 1,5 sec ahead of the others.

In the 3rd and 4th heat I was in another kart and I could barely keep pace with the guy in in the kart I had in heats 1 and 2. And the guy was karting for the second time.

My point is that the car is pretty important..especially in F1.

Di Resta came in a team which was more of less Sutil's team. give him couple of seasons and a better car. He may never be as good as Vettel was this year, but who knows, maybe he will be greater.


Vettel did not break his front wing, it fell off on its own. Stay with the facts.

As for DiResta, he won 5 races in 2006 and Vettel won 4. Big deal. What conclusion can you draw from that, its like saying Wickens will definately do better in F1 than Vergne because he beat him in the Renault Junior series.


He must firstly beat his team mate, than talk about cars. Vettel did that.


It is easy to put Di Resta's comment down to sour grapes, but in fact he's absolutely right and factual! Vettel did win because he had the best car, but also because the Pirelli tyres suited him and he got to grips with them from the start which Webber did not. Perhaps it is unfair to draw comparisons between the karting Vettel and Di Resta because individuals develop at different rates and to some extent because of the experience they have had since. There's no doubt that Vettel has grasped the opportunity with both hands and delivered, but the tyres are a big factor make no mistake. I suspect had we still been on Bridgestones the 2011 season would have looked different.


Oh look, a British driver with sour grapes and childish jealousy, the British media milking it on multiple sites and the British fans agreeing with this.

This guy has not achieved anything in F1, yet he already talks like he won multiple championships. This is jealousy, arrogance and disrespect all combined.

What he needs is humble pie....which Sutil served him this season.

Frentzen was beating Schumacher before both entering F1...look how that turned out.

Senna and Prost and Famngio won in the best cars too, obviously they are overrated too.


He is simply stating the facts: that Vettel had the best car this season, and won due to it (he would not have won in a Ferrari for example). And that Di Resta himself beat Vettel in F3.

He belives he could beat Vettel in the same car. Nothing wrong with that, that is the kind of attitude you NEED if you want to succeed.


Or if you want to look like a jealous frustrated person.


I don't think Di Resta is jealous or frustrated! He was simply stating a fact. The thing is Di Resta in his rookie year while aclimatising to an F1 car also had to adapt to the Pirelli tyres which is a double whammy to start on. The tyres are a bit of a nonsense and reward for the wrong reasons. The drivers that can push hard are stymied because if they do they wear the tyres out rapidly.


Do you really think Sutil served Di Resta humble pie?

Sutil out performed Di Resta in 11 races.

Di Resta out performed Sutil in 8 races.

Sutil out qualified Di Resta in 10 races.

Di Resta out qualified Sutil in 9 races.

Seems very very close to me.

Points 42 to 27.

That does not seem like Humblempie to me.

If I am correct, during Vettels first half season in F1 he out performed hist team mate twice in 7 races? And Vettel has become a great driver!


Di Resta was beaten easily by Sutil, case closed.


On Appeal, the case was re opened.

Taking into account:

The actual Qaulifying achievement of Di Resta compared to his team mate.

The actual race results compared to his team mate.

and the overall performance of Di Resta as "Rookie of the Year" (closer to his seasoned team mate, above any other other rookie in the F1 Championship this year).

The judge rules that Di Resta and Sutil were evenly matched.

Any suggestion that Sutil easily beat Di Resta was refuted by Mr Sutil himself, who applauded Di Resta's performance in making it a very competitve year.

Congratulations Mr Di Resta.

Hopefully you and My Sutil will continue as team mates.


Wasn't it just this week that we had Jos Verstappen telling us that he beat Michael in Karts? So what? one might ask. As others have said, people, not just drivers, develop at different rates, the level they reach accords to their mental capacities.

I really don't see why Di Resta is so hyped up, in what way has his season been so remarkable? He is in the same car as his team-mate and has been beaten by him. It isn't as though Paul has been driving a milk float for the past few years while Vettel has climbed the greasy pole, gaining F1 experience, so this blinding talent of his shouldn't have fallen too far behind.

The other area which Di Resta might address with advantage is his public persona. The diploma from the Andy Murray charm school isn't looking too good now and this area is one the top teams, so image sensitive, find very important. He has a very steep hill to climb to get anywhere near that extremely personable and likeable Seb.

If he is retained at FI, whether teamed with Sutil or Hulkenberg, he'd better beat them comprehensively, otherwise we might start looking for the Emperor's clothes.


Yes if Di Resta is with FI year he needs to beat his team mate.

I hope he does. I hope he goes on to fulfill the talent he has.

Clark, Stewart and Di Resta sounds good to me or perhaps we will have to wait for Williamson? As the next Scottish F1 champion.


I'm starting to dislike DiResta more and more. Still think he's overrated.


Its ok to feel confident because you previously beat someone in equal equipment.

But it was 5 years ago, and people learn, grow, change, and some of them do it faster than others.

So it's an an understandable, but invalid comparison he's making.


I must say, I don't agree with your analysis of Paul's comments, James.

Can you honestly say that had another driver been in Vettel's place that a Red Bull driver would not have won? I'm not suggesting that someone else would have won in as dominant a fashion, but with that car is was almost theirs to lose.


James thinks that those that argue that it was the car are "fighting a losing battle". Remember?


Those saying it's 'all the car' certainly are: Vettel's ability to qualify and lead the first lap have been the key.

But it's still the quickest car. Vettel in this year's Ferrari, for example, would have no chance of winning the WDC. Because it's not the quickest car.


the race that vettel won in the torro. His team mate bourdais who was not well regarded, qualified on the 2nd row.

The car was not a dog in certain races.

Remember how the force india was a top car for a few races because of its low downforce philosophy. That was a few years back.

To give a label to a car over a season is just stupid, because there can be times in the season where all the design and luck variables line up where that car is a real contender, but over the whole season it would be an average car.

vettel has always been in cars that are regarded socially poorer than they actually are. Hence it makes him look good.


You forgot to mention Bourdais was almost 1 second slower in qualifying while he made no mistakes and was in the same lap.

Almost 1 second is an eternity in F1. People like Sterling Moss praised Monza 2008 as one of the most amazing wins of all time looking how there were 3 teams faster on race day (machinery), yet you armchair critics know it better than former champions.

You (mainly British of course) people keep try to diminish what this young man is doing, while the rest of us enjoy watching F1 history written by one of the best of all time.


There is so much spectacle in F1. And you are buying into it. Like the non f1 fan would regard schumacher as a better driver than he is, because of the spectacle created around him. When a true f1 fan would know about the complexities that allow his world championships.

Maybe I appreciate F1 because of all the complex variables and constructs. And I don't resort to binary thinking of Vettel is good X driver is bad (and oh wow, history in the making bs). Vettel had a great season because all the variables were there. I would say drivers like webber are screwed, because for the first 70% of his career he was in horrid cars, so people think that he is innately a poor driver. You can never escape that reputation or the social perception of you. Even webber stated he was questioning his ability in the williams days, and he probably is now too. Where as drivers like vettel, alonso or hamilton, are regarded as fundamentally good due to a big part of being put in good machinery from the start of their careers.

It would have been fascinating to see if webber and alonso had swapped careers. Webber to renault and alonso to jag, and to see the difference.

But anyway, one day vettel will be a shit car like what happened to hamilton. And he will be a broken man. So far he is walking on clouds.

(Hulkenberg beat p2 by over a second and his teammate by over 1.7. Does anyone really care?)


"To give a label to a car over a season is just stupid"

You raise a reasonable point, but then you could easily argue in more than several races this year the Mclaren should have been faster or equal to the Red Bull.

What amazes me is the mentality some people adopt, where people just assume that anything Vettel does is down to the car, yet anything Alonso or Hamilton do is because they're outdriving a total dog of a car. Completely unfair and unjustified.


Good point.

I belive that the BMW Vettel drove in Indianapolis in 2007 had qualified 3rd, and finished 2nd at the previous race in Montreal, yet admitantly it wasn't quite up there the rest of the season.


i think that evrey German Champion need one Scotty nemesis and PDA just point it out for a Future seat in f1


People with a few grey hairs, will look back at the British F3 scene and can remember some of the pairing that there was. In a number of cases the so called star driver, when he moved up to F1, just didn’t deliver, and then disappeared off to the States or on to other motor sports sectors.

In the case of Vettel we need to look at his first win, and yes he seems to have a very good management team around him, to position him into a team. As with Di Resta, he may have the management team behind him now, but as Vettel has stepped up his game to a new level, so what happen in F3, is pretty much forgotten now.


I am sure Di Resta was saying "I beat him once and if given the same car could beat him again" - "please give me a car that can win the championship and I will win"

What would you say?

Bit like a job interview to any team manager who is looking for a future driver?

Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Red Bull, were you listening


The step from F3 to F1 is big and some make it and a lot’s don’t. So it doesn’t mean if you beat your team mate, that you can do it in F1. I can think of Jan Magussen and all the hype that he got in F3 and the records he broke, yet in F1 it didn’t work out for him. So I guess you can say the same, that he didn’t have a great car to show case his skill, like Paul Di Resta is now saying.


I forgot to add that in the 1994 F3 British Championship that Jan Magnussen team mate at Paul Steward Racing was Dario Franchitti, and he has gone to win a few races in America, yet nothing in F1, no drive. There is also a certain person, at joint 16th in that year’s championship, some guy called Christian Horner driving for Fortec Motorsports and the other person was Giancarlo Fishellia – somehow they might have done something in F1 – haven’t they?


All I can say in Vettel's defense is that:

With Success comes Envy 🙂

Same car Mark Webber was third... Case rested 🙂


All he is saying is he put the fastest car on the track where it belong..at the front.

17 or 18 poles with the opposition getting only one pole is down to the car.

That Webber came 3rd is down to a lot of reasons one of which is that Vettel has performed better than him and he underperformed.

To get the difference in car check out difference in constructor points - worth about 6wins


On past performance Paul should be quicker than Sebastian in exactly equal machinery but, as others have said, slower drivers in lesser formulae sometimes come to the front of the grid when they step up to F1.

The only definite conclusions we can make are that Sebastian is a lot quicker in a Red Bull than Mark and that Sebastian makes very few mistakes.

If Paul was signed to Red Bull for 2013 he would have the opportunity to prove he is the faster of the two.

If only !


He dida good job for sure but if he thinks he can do the same job in the Red Bull then surely Sutil must be even better than Vettel cuz he couldn't beat Sutil. Which means he would be dropped?


You cannot compare the things as plain as that.

Sutil ended on top at Force India this year, but for how many years he's racing for? Sutil might be maxed out, while Di Resta is just starting.

With Sutil you know what you get. He's been for couple of years in F1 and he's consistent, but I don't see potential.

Di Resta, had a good first season, but the potential is there. We don't know how good he will be. He might max out just like Sutil in 2 years or he might go even further and be a next Vettel.

Time will tell.


Of course I realize its not that simple I was merely pointing out the fallacy in his logic. Like James said he mistakenly took the bait.

I think he will become a pretty good driver but will need some development to become really the top few. Others like Alonso and Webber were able to put the Minardi several spots ahead of where it deserved right from the start of their careers, and Di Resta hasn't really done that


“…Smacks Jealousy…”

You really think that? Maybe he is jealous of Vettel´s car, not of his success. That’s different.

I like Paul and likes him more now that he showed balls to say what other drivers think, but can´t say to not sound jealous.

Paul beat Vettel in the same car and THAT gives him authority to say what he thinks. Nobody can't argue against his words.

I would love the read the history behind Paul’s path until F1, but I read some years ago words from his father that can illustrate what his son have said today:

“He [Paul] was only 13, at least a year younger than all the drivers around him. Robert Kubica was in second place on the grid, Nico Rosberg was fourth and Lewis [Hamilton] was sixth.

They were all driving for factory teams with money no object while I put Paul's car together myself and drove it down from Bathgate in a lorry to save money. We didn't have a back-up team: I was Paul's mechanic, his manager, his everything.

"Paul's not like these guys, he's done it the hard way. I worked all my days to finance his racing. We had no sponsors so we scrimped and saved to give him a chance to make it. From the time that Lewis Hamilton was 10 years old, the chequebook came out. He could crash a car and it made no difference, but that was never the way with Paul. Guys like Lewis and Sebastian Vettel had diamond-encrusted silver spoons placed carefully in their mouths while Paul ate with a wooden spoon. It's made him hungry, though. He knows how to fight and to scrap."

LINK: http://www.scotsman.com/sport/di_resta_is_history_1_1300695


Sounds alot like sour grapes, no wonder DiResta carries that chip on his shoulder.

Vettel is over a year younger than DiResta so that same argument his dad used can be used against DiResta in 2006 when one compares him to Vettel.

Also Vettel comes from a middle class family and his family sacrificed alot financially until Red Bull money came in when he was a teenager. DiResta has rich relatives in sport and showbizz with deep pockets, you would guess they could have "donated" something to keep him racing.


Love the comment Becken, I mentioned something similar before also. Everyone loves tossing out the 'youngest' title, but he wouldn't have been the youngest anything if not for the checks from the big companies. These guys are spoon fed, and it is not because they are 'that' special, it is a benefit of modernization, progress in branding and marketing, it is a benefit of the time.

Now these guys can come in really young under a brand entity, they hardly fear death because there hardly is death in F1 (its more dangerous to be a steward) and so suddenly we have to say 'youngest' as though it is a badge that applies when measured against achievements of the past? I value the guys that did it back then more, because they had to go through significantly harder steps, and I'd still happily place my money on a Schumacher and Alonso in their prime over Vettel.


Wow! Thank you for this.

That's a lot of info right there. I wish we could have something like this on every driver. Maybe there is somewhere on a website. Anyone knows?


If James thinks DiResta will go to a top 4 team within the next 2 years i can only speculate he thinks of Schumachers MercedesGP seat. In that case Paul DiResta will make a very good number 2 driver to Nico Rosberg who is a very fast and consistent qualifyer and who actually beats his teammates in F1.


I would have thought that the driver in the fastest car wins the WDC most (if not every) year. How is 2011 any different?


Contrary to many people's belief, F1 is a team sport. RedBull were the better team. Simple as that.

I couldn't enjoy F1 if I was constantly thinking about who had the better car. Of course one car is better than another. That's the point.

To Paul Di Resta I would say - when you win an F1 race (and I'm sure you will), will you give all the credit to the car? Or will you keep a little for yourself?


Having the "Best Car" doesn't account for a 365 point gap. It's not even enough to account for the 122 points between him and Button. He kept his head level and in the game, drove offensively, and took advantage of every resource he had. I also personally respect him very much for celebrating his pole position record in homage to Mansell instead of flaunting the achievement as superiority. The armchair punditry here is pathetic. Di Resta's comments are going to be lost in the noise Vettel tunes out on a regular basis. He'll be tieing off another championship next year and doing it in rare gentleman-style (despite his young age).


What do you think about that orange moe he wore after taking pole? That was a little bit mischievous if you ask me....


"The only thing you get from looking back is a sore neck" - Dick Johnson (Australian Touring Car Legend)


People just love to get behind a winner and completely ignore HOW they win. I thought HOW you win is just as important as the Win itself? That's what I've learned in Vettel's case. The guy has a very likeable personality, just look up his appearance on Top Gear and his impersonation of Kimi at the award ceremony. However, behind the wheel he is nothing special. I won't even go into how he was beaten by drivers like di Resta and Hamilton in lower series. His performance in F1 is enough to gauge his abilities. I don't know if its the inherent design of the RB7 or Vettel, but there is no denying that both the drivers and cars performance drops significantly when in traffic or starting anywhere lower than P1. One win in the rain and one pass around Alonso in Monza ain't enough.


"The guy has a very likeable personality"

I don't think so. I never got to like him after the scene he pulled in Turkey. Admitting mistakes is how you get respect.

I can accept his crazy-insinuating-finger gesture towards Webber when he got out of the car, but since he had no guts to accept he moved right into Webber and caused the collision..shows what kind of personality he has..and is not good.


Yet since then, he's made mistakes and admitted them; case in point Belgium 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAmOODOz33U

Since that race, Vettel has been on an incredible upwards curve performance and personality wise. To get so hung up on that one weekend is ridiculous.


Completely agree.

Vettel is very good at PR + can turn on the charisma: he was hilarious on Top Gear. But I also remember the video of him jabbing one of the Pirelli people in the chest at Spa this year because of the tyre blisters etc. And the loony finger twirling in Turkey 2010.


Also Vettel had a crash in 2006 which reduced his performance in some races. Crash definitely affects ur performance.

Seb's finger was almost sliced off in crash.


If Di Resta had beaten Sutil convincingly this season then it makes some sense if he says this. Why didt he beat Sutil with the same car as he had?

Look at this interview of Seb in 2008 when he was with Toro Rosso:


He says you have to make sure you first beat your teammate before anybody else. I couldnt agree more.

I think people dont give credit for how intelligent, fiercely competitive and hard working Vettel is.


I think comments relect poorly on Paul Di Resta. He is not even acknowledging that Vettel did a good job!

You do not find good drivers making comments like these, normally they focus on positives or look forward to helping their team improve. Is he just at Force India as long as they are useful to him?

Sounds more of desperation to me. Paul, if he keeps his seat, is facing a big challenge next year. either improve to beat the driver who beat him this year - Sutil or the guy who put a Williams on pole. Maybe any driver could have done that too?



I think a lot of people didn't get the point.

What he was trying to do is basically calling out the champ.

Does Paul really forget the existence of evolution? Of course not. He knew that it will be a very tough fight for him.

He wants the other red-bull seat as Mercedes might not build a top car anytime soon.


Thankyou Paul!


Hey, I love this fighting talk, I hope he gets a chance to prove his point:-) One thing he has in his advantage, at least initially, is he "knows" he can beat him. Please please all you Vettel fans, this is not undermining Vettels acheivements at all, he is for certain the best at the moment. And for you for all you "drivers develop at different rates", hey who is to say that Paul will not catch him up- this was only his first year. He did not win the DTM in his first year either (although he was in 1 year old car at the time) but wait a minute he went on to win it in 2010- that is quite a good achievement I would say.


I can't think of an example where someone has won the drivers championship with something other than the best car! I suppose the McLaren was probably the best in 2007 when Lewis through the championship away, not doubt there are many other examples. One thing is clear; having the best car does not guarantee you the championship. You've got to have the capability to get the best out of it as well.


But is it not the case that if you asked the same question of every F1 driver they would give the same answer?

What I mean by this, is that all these drivers have such an inner confidence about their own ability that to admit that another driver is fundamentally better would be to concede they will never win. Its only human nature, and it is the mark of the confidence, verging on arrogance, that all great top-line sportspeople have. Look at 100m sprinters in athletics - the same attitude applies.

Webber would probably say that Vettel did a better job, but its another matter for him to admit that Seb is fundamentally a better driver. Confidence can blind you to the facts - and that's a good thing in sport, otherwise you'd give up, think you'd never win.

Just a bit surprised that Di Resta said it so publically to be honest.


There is a thumbrule in motorsports, and i mean in any form of motorsports, the best rider/driver always ends up with the best set of wheels on the grid. If Vettel was another McNish he wouldn't have bagged a RBR drive and an unwavering loyalty from his team. Suck it up and admit it, he is good and hence he gets the best machines.


F1 maybe does need to look at how it deals with young drivers ensuring they get an opportunity. Di Resta undoubtedly has the talent but unless one of the top teams takes a risk, he will never get the opportunity to shine. Other drivers like Wilson or Davidson never really got the chance to shine and I'm sure there are many more from other nations.

I'd be all for the third car scenario for top teams if the rule was that they had to run a rookie driver with less than two full seasons under their belt.


I think Di Resta is massively overrated. His 2011 target "to justify his place in Formula 1" is wrong. His target should have been to destroy his teammate, and even with Sutil's problems, he couldn't do it.


SO so so tired of drivers taking shots at Vettel. He did not simply win, he destroyed, and if the car had not broke down would have had 13 wins....

Just because you race someone well 5 years ago in a junior series does not mean you would beat them in a higher series, nor does it mean Vettel could not grow as a racer.

of course he had a good car... let me know when an HRT driver wins the title...


Well, I'm not sure that Paul Di Resta really said this, but if so I have only one thing to say to the little Paul: if you had driven the Red Bull, the title would have been reached by your team-mate Adrian Sutil. So better be quiet, little Paul !



Gazzetta is a very reputable paper. One of the most prestigious in world sport


Yes...I'm italian and I know Gazzetta dello Sport. My "doubt" was not real..it was a kind of irony and diplomacy towards the declaretion of Di Resta (Presumably I could not express well for the difficulty that I have with the language, sorry!).

PS Great Blog, James! Congrats!


So Paul beat a strong team mate in F3, even such a strong driver like Vettel. Excellent. However in F1 he did not beat his team mate. Does not look like he has a bright future in F1.


Hey, Paul, guess what? I think you can now measure your potential F1 career with a yardstick (or is it meter stick over there?).
Obviously your b**s are a lot larger than your brains because you don't have a shred of the maturity of Sebastian Vettel.


I'm seriously sick of hearing Di Resta moan about how nothing goes his way. All of the BBC interviews show him complaining and he has nothing positive to say about the car or the team.

In all seriousness, you could say that everyone has a chance of winning with the best car on the grid. Just get over it and adapt yourself to the current car.


It is NOT a Fighting talk. It is completely normal.

Gazzetta Dello Sport invited him, then asked him to draw conclusions from what their past says about their relative situations. So Paul Di Resta talked about it. This is NOT a fighting talk.

Obviously Di Resta isn't a fighting talk fan & we can realize it from his interviews.

I like Paul Di Resta's treating style. He is mature despite being rookie.


Do Di Resta want to go to other team for better car?

It's seem he think Force India has bad car and if he had RB7 he will win WDC.


Paul Di Resta always seems like a young man that has it all together and on this occasion he was simply being factual. That said Vettel is top drawer no doubt, he has precision and consistency, and speed. The supreme cornering characteristics of the RB7 have served to raise his confidence level beyond those of his competitors because they don't have such a car.

The other factor this year have been the tyres which in the main prevented other drivers pushing REALLY hard to catch him up. - If they do they simply go backwards as the tyres wear out. It is only where set up and conditions have intervened to level the field sufficiently to allow other drivers to win. It is a fact that almost all championship winning drivers have had a superior car, the exceptions have only been where circumstances have intervened in a close field. It simply needs another team to make a superior car to the "RB8" to prevent Vettel from doing it again, and allow another driver access to that level. Most likely to do that is Button, Alonso and Hamilton. I do hope Hamilton can bounce back from where he has been this year, but Pirelli tyres don't allow really spirited driving and that's what makes it so artificial, constrained and boring.


Seems massively out of context. Vettel may have had the best car, team support etc, but he did the most consistent job. I make this comment as a massive Webber fan ! Paul is capable but is he really that good ? Too early to tell. Lehto beat drivers like Hill and Irvine in F3 in 88 (I think) but who did better in F1.....


Nothing will show up a better driver comparison better than being in identical equipment nomatter what the discipline whether it be Karting rallying touring cars f2 f3 gp2 f1 etc etc. Paul has a very very valid point that i'm pretty sure 98% of F1 fans had no idea about until this article appeared. Vettel yes he is very good. Why is he where he is in comparison? Quite simple funding How can you compare the backing of a German tycoon/owner of the Redbull Brand who swooped in for his native protoge relatively early not to mention other sound native financial backings against the likes of paul in his early days with relatively far slimmer financial lines of backing in his cousin Dario Franchitti partly from what i believe. I believe he will be backed by mercedes ultimately from here on in as long as the car has a Mercedes engine. More than likely to land schumachers seat at the seasons end But i would'nt rule out a certain young chaps seat at Mclaren lets just see how a certain young scots performances pan out this coming season on the track and how a certain young englishman performs prob more so again off the track i can see a young scot with a huge amount of future options and a young mclaren driver fast running out of future options as his career progresses.

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