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.