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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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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.


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…..


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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 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…


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Thankyou Paul!


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.


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?



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.


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.


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.

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.


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


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….


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?

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