Insight: How did Di Resta fare against team mate Sutil at Force India
Posted By: James Allen  |  04 Dec 2013   |  12:07 pm GMT  |  122 comments

Continuing our series of analysis of the head-to-head records of team mate pairings, here’s the analysis of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil’s season at Force India.

At least one driver, maybe both, will miss out on a seat with the team next year after Force India announced that Nico Hulkenberg will return to the outfit in 2014.

Most people expect ex-McLaren driver Sergio Perez to get the second seat, but with the team breaking with tradition and not naming both drivers at the same time, it seems there is still room for negotiation.

Sutil and Di Resta were first team-mates at Force India in 2011. Sutil spent a year away from the sport last season after the team chose to run Nico Hulkenberg, but returned to partner Di Resta once more as the Scot signed for his third season with the team this year.

The stats show that Di Resta had the stronger season, the Scot out-qualifying his team mate 11 times to eight. He also achieved the team’s highest grid slot of the season – fifth – at Spa, once place better than Sutil’s best which came in Bahrain.

In terms of race performance, Di Resta once again came out on top, with nine points finishes to Sutil’s seven. They both retired from races four times, but when they both took the chequered flag, Di Resta finished ahead nine times to Sutil’s four.

Di Resta had the stronger first half of the season, scoring points in seven of the 10 races to Sutil’s four. However, the Scot had a series of retirements in the second half of the season, with his German team mate pipping him three points finishes to two.

Overall, Di Resta finished 19 points clear of Sutil in the drivers’ standings, but that equated to just one position difference. Di Resta finished 12th, with Sutil 13th.

Despite Di Resta beating his team mate across the season, the Scot looks likely to lose his seat at the team and could be out of Formula 1 altogether. Meanwhile, Sutil believes he will stay in Formula 1 and is understood to be talking to Sauber.

Check out the statistics below to see how Di Resta got the upper hand on Sutil this season.

Di Resta v Sutil stats compared (highest respective tally in bold)



Faster qualifying time: Di Resta 11 / Sutil 8

Poles: Di Resta 0 / Sutil 0

Front rows: Di Resta: 0 / Sutil 0
Best qualifying finish: Di Resta 5th / Sutil 6th


Wins: Di Resta 0 / Sutil 0

Podiums: Di Resta 0 / Sutil 0

Points finishes: Di Resta 9 / Sutil 7 

DNFs: Di Resta 4 / Sutil 4 

Ahead in two-car finish: Di Resta 9 / Sutil 4


Points: Di Resta 48 / Sutil 29
Championship placing: Di Resta 12th / Sutil 13th


First 10 races

Out-qualified team-mate: Di Resta 5 Sutil 5
Wins: Di Resta 0 Sutil 0
Podiums: Di Resta 0 Sutil 0
Points: Di Resta 7 Sutil 4
Retirements: Di Resta 1 Sutil 3

Final nine races

Outqualified team-mate: Di Resta 6 Sutil 3
Wins: Di Resta 0 Sutil 0
Podiums: Di Resta 0 Sutil 0
Points: Di Resta 2 Sutil 3
Retirements: Di Resta 3 Sutil 1

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This seems a sad situation for Paul and I believe it has something to do with him as a person.

It is very sad to say that, as his driving should do the talking but in the modern world we live in, having something interesting to say and how you tell it counts and I am afraid Paul doesnt have it.

I even switch off when he is being interviewed, but I believe he deserves to be in F1, as he has the pace and has proven it in low catorgies.

So it will be a shock to see him next year, but in some ways will be a good shock.

Good luck Paul, hopefully your management will get you the best seat for you.


Agreed, I'm sure he's a lovely lad in 'real life' away from the pressures of the paddock, but he is either complaining that the team messed up his chances or claiming any good strategy was his idea.

Joe Saward has mentioned that the team have not been impressed with his technical feedback and overall disappointed that he doesn't engender a team spirit and certainly doesn't inspire anyone to work harder for him.

Personality DOES count in sport. We often forget that F1 is very much a team sport with the drivers on point fighting for their own careers but if a driver cannot inspire his technical crew to put in every effort for him, he will not be seen as quite the asset.

I did notice that Paul started smiling more in interviews, taking a deep breath and trying to sound enthused in the final 3 races this year. It was almost like someone had taken him aside and said 'C'mon at least PRETEND to cheer up.'

The thing is witness Jenson Button's despondent interviews at Brazil when he was just saying 'let this year end'. It was almost shocking, even when complaining JB tends to add in a wry smile and self-deprecating joke. Paul was sadly like that pretty much ALL the time, with no real praise for the team. When a team feels betrayed they will resent you. Look at Pastor's ill-will to Williams - it was absolutely clear that all the momentum went to Bottas as soon as he started mouthing off.

F1 may be technical minded but it's still people. Personality goes a long way.


I agree. I think Paul is a good driver that's getting held back by his inability to play the media game. He is a dtm champion and that says a lot about his driving skills. In a way, he is like Kimi. However, he is not an established wdc so when he speaks his mind it sounds like he's throwing the team under the bus, or complaining. I blame his cousin Dario Franchitti! That guy is a great driver and one of the most well like personalities in American motorsports. He should of pulled Paul aside and taught him a thing or two about the biz.


But Kimi doesn't tend to complain, he just doesn't say anything! I think he's turned that into a positive - it's become like a comedy routine now where he gets the media laughing at his brutal disdain for their questions. Paul doesn't have the charisma or studied cool of Kimi.

The weird thing is when he was first interviewed he came across better as the self-confident DTM champion. Perhaps his frustration at years in the mid-field has made him angry and that doesn't come across well when you don't have big results to offset the moods.



The whines of the engines were only drowned out by the whining of Paul. He was just such a downer, all of the time. If I was an f1 driver I don't think I'd be ABLE to be so down in the dumps at every turn.

I hear he is to take Dario's seat in Indy, which is good for him. As long as he makes an attitude adjustment, as that moapy gob won't go down very well in the "buck-up-for-your-sponsors" culture of the states.


If having a personality was a pre-requisite for being an F1 driver we'd have an empty grid. I can hear the conversations in the paddock motor homes now, "he's a promising young driver, he's fast, consistent, and gives good technical feedback to the engineers, but he's a bit dull so we'll sign someone else". Get a grip.


Agree, some people have said correctly that the guy complains too much and that could be one of the reasons for him to be out of F1 next year, but if we see the grid, Alonso is the king of that behavior, speaks more that he drives (and he is a very good driver) and Maldonado also, the difference here is that Alonso is very talented and has money and Maldonado, well, basically has money.


Glad I'm not the only one. PdR really bores me. I'm sure he's a lovely chap but he's really dry. When interviewed he's barely ever positive.

I am sure the man is super talented. But he's not very "vibrant"


Unfortunately I agree that Paul just has not got the charisma. He comes over as a bit dour and downbeat and moans a bit too often. He is quick but not fast so his personality coupled with a lack of cash means that teams have no real reason to pick him. A shame but at least he has had a chance to drive an F1 car so cannot feel too sorry for him !


I think you have nailed it. Paul either comes across badly or is actually always complaining and blaming others when he speaks. Either was it looks as though the way he communicates will see him out of a drive rather than his driving.


I fully agree with you with regards to Di Resta, but on the other hand, Sutil have thrown at least a few point away with his on track "attitude", especially against Hamilton. I have never given it much thought, but I am sure that the team will also look at that as damaging there chances, which might favours Perez for the seat. Therefore, my opinion is that SFI will drop both their drivers.


I think di Resta is likely to lose his seat, not on the account of his performance, which is quite good, but because of his behaviour towards the team.

From the beginning of the season, there were many news reports of his unsporting attitude and rants.

What do you think of this James?


I think you're correct. Di Resta, although faster than Sutil IMO, really went on the offensive with the team numerous times this season. I think this is hurting him now.

With Force India getting Hulk back in I think that's their 'Talent' driver for 2014, and the other seat will basically be a paying seat and it comes down to sponsorship money. If Sutil has more money than Di Resta (which I believe is the case) I see him taking that role. Obviously the likes of Perez and GUT also come with money, so I suspect Paul Di Resta might end up out in the cold.

Whilst I don't think Paul is a bad F1 driver, he's not world championship material. He's not got that spark that I saw in Schumacher, Button and Vettel before they won races let alone championships.

I'd suggest he will be lucky to be in F1 next season and if he remains it may be at one of the two tail end teams.


I can't see Marussia or Caterham taking anyone not bringing money for those remaining seats, so I feel it is Sauber or Force India, as his only options, and no one is mentioning him going there. As it happens neither Sutil or di Resta have driven for any other F1 team.

Personally, in the unconfirmed seats, I'd like to see van der Garde take his money up the grid, and have Pic, Sutil and di Resta all gone to get some variety into the grid with drivers new to F1. Chilton may yet grow into something reasonable, so I'll sit on the fence with him.


I agree, he should have sacked the way he talked about his team, don't like him at all there is just something not very nice about him.


Admittedly he did have quite a few rants against the team but I think it is more due to lack of financial support that he (quite likely) won't get the drive.

Shame, I think he had the speed and consitancy to be a regular top 10 driver in F1 for some time.


Unsporting as in getting your team mate to split his gearbox and take a grid penalty and insist he gets out of the way - shocking behavior, no place for this kind of thing in sport and good ridance


I think you're right.

It's just speculation, but normally if a driver is unhappy with a team they'll smile and nod their head for the cameras and then air their grievances behind closed doors.

In Di Resta's case, if he was so vocal to the media you have to wonder what he was saying to the team, but you wouldn't have to wonder so much about how they'd react.

He did drive well, but unfortunately his performance was overshadowed by his attitude and that might have been what cost him his seat.

p.s. The fact that apparently Sutil brings $$$ and Paul doesn't is probably also a factor.


Comparison stats should really be focussing on the competitive ability to raise sponsorship money as driving talents are well and truly secondary nowadays

Looking forward to that article suggested by #104, Nick B on the Maldonado switch post.


I distinctly recall Sutil having rather woeful luck earlier on in the season when the car was at its best - puncture on lap 1 in Bahrain dropping him to the back from 5th, getting taken out by Gutierrez in China plus both Force India's wheel nut problems in Malaysia.

Di Resta had retirements and such too, but a lot of those being self-inflicted.

The points should be closer - all ifs and buts though. That said, Sutil clearly had the upper hand back in 2011, although the relevance of this to 2014 isn't that big.

Despite being a fellow brit, I'm not to disappointed to see Di resta leave, so long as it means the BBC stop bigging him up all the time (same goes for Chilton, even more so). I mean, this is the first season that Di Resta has actually beaten his team mate...


Your last paragraph summarizes my thoughts perfectly.


Agreed. I remember a few instances, particularly in qualy in Bahrain when he had a right go at the team over radio; blaming them for anything that went wrong. Just came across as a difficult person to work with.


Personality appeal is a funny thing. Montoya did and said all sort of things, but I cannot help but find him exciting. I suppose Paul does not have or not have enough positives to counter balance the negative side of him.


For me,

di Resta seems as a sports car driver team, Porsche with Webber maybe? He is a good solid fast driver!

not top F1 driver that has advertising market appeal and media limelight.


Paul has beaten vettel in the junior categories

Paul has wiped the floor with sutil. PDR has enough talent and skill to warrant a race seat in F1 for 2014. Poorly F1 these days are all about money. I do not know what perez will bring to the team other than carlos slim backing. More crash damage and some political limelight.

"not top F1 driver" - complete myth

"driver that has advertising market appeal and media limelight" - True


For me,

di Resta seems like a sports car driver, good solid fast driver. Porsche with Webber maybe?

not F1 superstar driver with global advertising and market appeal that a top f1 team brand can be built around.


There's a lesson to be learned here. If I was a team principle and had the choice between two equally talented drivers, with the only difference being that one of them seemed to moan and whine every time he opened his mouth, I know who I'd pick.

A continually negative attitude just wears everyone down, and is completely demotivating.


Seems pretty close between the two.

If Hulk is a better driver than DiResta based on their 2012 performance together in the same car, then it seems right for FI to go for a new driver - now that they have Hulk back to establish a baseline performance.

Perez with his sponsor money seems like a sensible choice. While Perez is no superstar, he does at least match Button pretty well in only his first year with McLaren.

Kris Grzegorczyk

It makes sense. I know Perez technically falls into the pay driver category, but I think he's the best of them. His performances at Sauber and the fact he matched Button at times during the season despite being much newer to the team makes him the best candidate for the seat. In fact, take out the pay element and I still think he's impressed more than Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil given the chances they've all had.

There's an argument to suggest that di Resta should still be in F1, but difficult now to see where he should fit. You'd think he might be a good addition to Caterham or Marussia, but money will obviously be a factor plus the points made above about him not coming across as a team player. It's a shame, but I guess there really are only a handful of drivers that can be in F1 on ability alone.

I agree with one of the earlier posits about teams hardly being likely to factor charisma into their selection process, but money talks and, in many cases, charisma contributes to ability to attract funding.


48 points to 29?

That isn't that close!


Yes, but then you have to add the 10 for trying.


Once again we have the possibility of another great driver missing out even though Di Resta has clearly demonstrated he is worthy of a seat in F1,

Kris Grzegorczyk

Great is probably a stretch


I do not really understand the criticism againt Paul's behaviour. I find him really balanced and honest. A description that doesn't fit Sutil. Based on statistics alone I would opt for Di Resta, not even accounting their personality.

Hulk and Di Resta would go nicely togehter.



A lineup which is proven to be strong, and Sutil's attitude isn't that much better (he didn't cause the crash in the USA apparently), and most importantly, he isn't as good! The points difference says it all.


He may be rude but at least he never glassed anyone. Di resta deserves a drive more than Sutil.


Maybe they're afraid to ditch Sutil in case he loses it near the champagne cabinet...


This is the best comment I have seen on jaonf1!



which team is willing to take the risk of being sued by a driver because of money?

kimi didn't sue renault because they failed to pay him for a whole season so he is more likely to land a seat in any team.


An honest team who will pay their driver!


how can there be an honest team when they're all desperately looking for ways of evading the rules?


Will Paul have any opportunity to come back to F1 after 1-2 years in Indy car? Will tere be slightly less competition for places? Somehow I doubt it but I'd like to think there is room for Paul in the future as he's a good guy.

Obviously Pirez has got plenty of financial backing behind him. Got to be him surely for the second seat.

Also, where would Sutil go if not F1?


GTE class in Sports Cars is popular - Kobayashi, Fisichella, Senna all come to mind as they give a chance of winning. The LMP1 seats are harder to claim. There's no clear way to get back to F1 after leaving it, so going to a series with manufacturer support and therefore a good chance at winning is a good idea.


"Will Paul have any opportunity to come back to F1"

The way things are now and in the immediate future I would say no.

"Where would Sutil go if not F1?"

Home, at a guess 🙂


Paul is a good driver, but I don't think one of the greats. With all the quality alternatives out there, why would a team pick a driver who is very quick to have a public rant at the team.

Personally, I don't think Sutil should have been allowed back into the sport after the night club incident anyway and still don't like him being there...


So how does sutil get to talk to sauber and not PDR?

Does sutil bring cash?


Unfortunately both Sutil and Di Resta had great opportunities in what has been a very strong package over the last few years. I believe it's fitting both drivers are replaced and I do believe both Hulkenberg and Perez are better drivers.

Di Resta has done a reasonable job over 3 years but clearly he's never going to be a podium contender and all the FI cars have been capable to fight at the front - Nico Hulkenberg proved that in Brazil 2012. I'm excited to see how they will go in 2014 now with a Mercedes power plant .

I'm actually glad to see him out of F1 because he will shine in other categories like DTM not sure about Indy .. I will certainly not miss his mouth he is one of the most droll and boring drivers on the grid and his talk exceeds his driving at every turn-- really quite ridiculous! Sutil deserves a drive somewhere he still has time to get back to his best after a year out- he was not far off Paul anyway.I think Sauber is a good place for him- whether he will improve enough is anyone's guess ( probably unlikely)


@ Elie

Totally wrong

Paul is a better driver than perez and Sutil

Paul deserves a race seat for 2014 and belongs to F1. Paul does not have much needed fund backing which is vital for all the mid field teams these days in F1. Paul is talented lad and he has the right to be vocal. Force India have not developed the car as the season progressed and with tyre changes at mid season means car has gone backwards. Despite these issues PDR did a commendable job

Sutil does not bring any talent with him other than some funding, same to perez nothing unique sacked by mclaren have much needed funds with him.


@Krischar- Force India dropped him for Nico Hulkenberg - who doesn't have funding and Sergio Perez who does have funding. Team Owner Vijay Malya has been quoted many times saying he hired drivers on talent first and foremost. But I suppose you think you know better...NOT!


Hmm, dunno if I think a podium was possible in the 2013 FI ... they were behind McLaren for a reason. They would've required favourable circumstances, such as they had at Brazil 2012, where Hulk was on for a podium until he screwed up his pass on Hamilton.


"Sutil deserves a drive somewhere he still has time to get back to his best after a year out- he was not far off Paul anyway"

He was very far off Paul. 29 points to 48 points. That's approximately 60% off di Resta.


And only ONE position in the WDC...

It's more than points - Sutil has been with the team for about 7 years, was banned, and they still took him back. THAT says all you need to know about how well he gets on with the team management, engineers, sponsors, etc. They know him intimately, THEY were the best judge and jury as to his behaviour in China, and they will probably judge that they like working with him more than DiResta - although they may also judge that the like Perez better than Sutil regardless.


Spot on good post


*of di Resta's points


"Di Resta has done a reasonable job over 3 years but clearly he's never going to be a podium contender"

Why not? If he's given a reasonable car he can! He has had a fourth place this year, so why not third next year?

"All the FI cars have been capable to fight at the front"

Really?? Not in the slightest. There was one occasion when Hulkenberg did brilliantly, and that was it.


Without being in full possesion of the facts, I am simply speculating, but If I were in Vjs position, there would be several factors in my decision to drop Paul.

1) He has been there three years now, and I have to say he has never really inspired or lifted his game to championship level, unlike Hulk, whom has every year for instance

2)As a previous poster has pointed out, I'm not that sure that he is particuarly endearing, he comes across as rather dull and droll with no charisma, which may be part of the reason that he has little or no sponsorship. Your driver has to endear himself to the wide world, media and sponsors, Paul just doesnt seem to have that. I wil confess myself, that every time Diresta is interviewed I mute or fast forward.

3)Sutil has been out of F1 for a year with serious distractions over his head, yet he has come back and pretty much matched Di resta in his first season back

4) Diresta has on three seperate occasions, publicly criticised the team, and used some stromg words. That is just not the right thing to do, hes no Senna or Alonso. You just dont do that! No one in the paddcock can emulate Sennas political skill I'm afraid.

I dont think his lack of sponsorship is an issue either, as Vjay has always maintained that this is never a consideration when choosing drivers for his team. I genuinly think that Perez will put in better performances than Paul, and will be chosen on that basis, not his sponsorship alone. Di-resta lacks that killer aggression in my opinion.


"Pretty much matched Di resta in his first season back"

Yes, only 40% off his points total.

"Di-resta lacks that killer aggression"

The one that nearly took out Kimi in Monaco?


sighh, did you even read the article??! lol.

Appologies, Slamming into the back of Kimmi in Monaco, does indeed prove that he is a driver with a real killer instinct calibre.


Who is Paul di Resta?

Is he the bright fun motivational charismatic enthusiastic positive one who always talks about his team in a good way?


He is the quick Force India driver.


I find it tough to understand that Di Resta isn't getting kept on or given a chance at a bigger team. I understand the comments about rants but Hamilton and Alonso have done that before.

Lets all remember that Di Resta beat Vettel in the same car before F1. This guy is seriously quick and deserves to stay in F1.


Hi Ross,

I haven't watched the 2006 F3 season, so I'm going off limited reporting such as Autocourse, but I'll make a few observations.

Although di Resta and Vettel were in the same team, they still had different race engineers. In the previous season both were with different teams and replaced Hamilton and Sutil. Vettel's team boss from 2005 was interviewed by Autosport this year and said that BMW made a mistake in changing Vettel's team as it took Vettel down a different path in terms of set up compared to what was working for him in 2005. There was a reference to Vettel saying he was now faster than Hamilton that I couldn't find in the results. Di Resta and Vettel didn't get anywhere near Hamilton's results in 2005 and it has been suggested that Jamie Green, the 2004 champion was even better, but his career has gone nowhere in DTM.

DTM cars are relatively like F3 for touring cars, being quite high in grip relative to their power levels. F1 cars have three times the power, but not three times the grip. It does not follow that stars in F3 will necessarily be spectacular in other series. Being very precise and accurate is helpful in F3 and DTM, but in F1 the demands are a bit different, and the increase in corner speed pushes the neural processing more than any other series. There is a phrase "behind the car" used to suggest that everything is happening relatively fast for the driver and they have little spare capacity to influence the car. Sebastien Bourdais is one example given - four titles in the US, F3000 winner after Enge was disqualified, but in F1 he struggled.

With di Resta, looking at his seasons, he has not finished any of them strongly. In 2011 he has beating Sutil early on and was then overtaken at the end of the year. In 2012 he started better than Hulkenberg in general, but by the end of the year Nico was clearly regarded as the superior of the two by most professional commentators. This year he has been better than Sutil, but I doubt there's been much sense that Sutil has been at the top of his game. But Paul crashed out of Monza, Singapore and Korea in accidents that were all his fault.

Overall, when looking at PdR, the most evident skill seems to be looking after his tyres to get good results. One lap pace wise, he wasn't too far off Hulkenberg, but the top teams aren't looking for nearly.


Alonso and Hamilton have probably earned the right to rant - when they are the class of the field they get more leeway, their teams will still be inspired by their performances again. I don't think Paul has earned the right to diva-ish outbursts yet in any teams eyes.

I'm not sure how much the early defeat of Vettel counts to be honest. Some drivers blossom later than others. I mean look at Vettel's first test in an F1 car he was 3.4 seconds off Mark Webber in the same equipment...things change...


This mirrors my thoughts exactly.

Diresta complains and complains,then he goes on a crashing spree. Fernando has every right to complain he's one of the greats, his consistency is spectacular. No wonder every team wants him driving for them.

Hamilton complains too much at his own detriment. I feel like he's always getting in his own way. But he has so much natural talent he still winds up ahead of his teammates for the most part


Which "bigger team" in particular do you you find it tough to understand he isn't getting a chance at?

That'd be a choice of Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, Mclaren, Lotus.... Williams aren't a bigger team nowadays.

Which driver do you think the bigger five teams (questionable whether Lotus will still be a bigger 5 given it's money problems, and they definitely wouldn't be without Maldonado's cash).

You really don't think that McLaren know DiResta inside out and are happy to pass him over for the promise of Magnussen....

Red Bull should give up on Ricciardo? Never mind how his dour Scot personality would fit in with Red Bull marketing?

Ferrari? Seriously they should give up... yeah that's silly talk.

Mercedes....err they know him well too and would you swap Britney having seen him re-retire Schumi and pretty much much match the ear-ringed one.?

HE really hasn't done enough to ear his place on the grid given the harsh realities of the current economy. Add I'd argue that he hasn't done enough to still have a seat in any economy.


I felt last year Mclaren should have taken him over Perez!!

He has easily done more than him. Also I felt Ferrari would have been better with him than Massa this year. Massa was given far too long performing very very poorly.

I do get where you are coming from but do remember that while he made mistakes this year so did his team. Silverstone cost him big time!!!


Di Resta wrecked his own race at Silverstone, breaking his front wing against Hulk I believe it was.


"Sutil spent a year away from the sport last season after the team chose to run Nico Hulkenberg..."

James, are you honestly suggesting the sole reason Sutil wasn't at Force India last year was because they select Nico to replace him? Nothing else of note factored into their decision?

Also James, why no insight on the rumors that Paul di Resta is difficult to worth with? If the rumors are true and he was easier to deal with or more positive, would the odds of his keeping his seat improve much (despite the lack of funds to bring to the team)?


- One question is : Was Sutil a good bench mark ? Sutil was coming back after 1 year of no racing, doing rough strategies more times than DiResta, errors in races & qualifying - yet DiResta did not blow him away completely.

- What about mid-season DiResta making errors race after race and not scoring points ?

- Yes he seemed to have a strong showing 1st half but then he just seem to fade away.



Can you highlight the races that Paul crashed out, being HIS fault. And how many time FI engineers got it wrong. Paul has his faults and we see them, however in a car that was in good shap at the start of the year and a driver who knew it would start to go backwards, not at the rate after the tyre update. he new he had to deliver and im sure frustration was evident.

i would like the doubters to kist his errors as i keep reading these comments but do not recall more than 2 main ones


2 errors is not less. See no points finishes for errors


Paul is a very decent driver, but has the charisma of a peanut. Not a dream ticket from a PR / Marketing perpective.

Maybe life in the States will help him on that front.


Most people expect ex-McLaren driver Sergio Perez to get the second seat, but with the team breaking with tradition and not naming both drivers at the same time, it seems there is still room for negotiation.

Didn't they do this for the 2013 season. PDR was at the car launch, Sutil got the drive at the last minute after a shoot-out with Bianchi.


I seem to recall so too!!

And on that note, it was the wrong decision (my view).


Bianci is better than the pair of them . I said that last before they dropped him.


The way that Bianchi has presented himself driving for Marussia I'd have to agree.


I did not follow this particular pairing closely l have to say, so l am a bit surprised to see how much better DiR did over AS. l think my perception up to now, could be due to a more positive coverage of Sutil by many in the medias.

I don't particularly rate Di Resta all that much, maybe a bit more now, yet if 1 of the 2 should remain in F1, it should be him. Marc


Thanks for this insight - helps me realise overall Paul was better than Sutil, which I hadn't realised. Makes it a shame Paul probably won't get an F1 seat next year.


Do you recall comparing them, or did you not really notice them? The reason I ask is that the figures can hide anomalies. Bahrain is one race where Sutil's race pace was apparently better than di Resta's according to Autosport, just that a puncture on lap one got in the way. 12 of the 19 point difference is right there.

In some races the cars were on quite different set ups trying to get the tyres to work. Sutil generally went more aggressive, being further up the grid in those races.

If you were playing team manager, you might go with your feelings rather than the score board. Sutil's done six years in F1 now, plus his year off, so if your going to promote him on talent, you might have done so by now. If di Resta didn't make you feel any different - not much better than someone you've passed over - why continue with him if he doesn't bring money.


If I'm not mistaken PDi had a less than amicable break-up with Anthony Hamilton as his manager and joined the same stable as Jenson B, certain to be a distraction from track activity, but either way he should have been receiving coaching on his performance with the media, especially TV - perhaps it came too late, because his negativity towards aspects of the team (at least that is how it appeared) no doubt caused issues within, his inability to understand the political nuances have no doubt cost him dear. He's going to have to be a great deal more savvy if he moves to Indy. I don't see him driving anywhere in F1 next year which is a shame when you look at his ability to finish well against some top cars and then you have the likes of Pastor M. Not good for the sport with the financial imbalance almost forcing the teams further down the grid to look at pay drivers in stead of talent first (although Gary Anderson did an interesting item on budget management).


Good stuff -- Would think that Dario would be providing his relative with some coaching on the presentation format. Wasn't aware of any tempremental Maldanado-style off-track rants were in vogue.

There was a comment a few days back regarding an imminent Kimi/Grosjean comparison -- Has that aired yet?


Could you do such a head-to-head comparison of Ferrari teammates Alo-Mas from 2010-2013, and RBR Vet-Web 2009-2013??


Sorry to intrude James, but here is some interesting data (at least to me)

It is the percentage of points earned by the top driver from each team, listed from smallest to largest differences

1. Mercedes/HAM 52.5%

2. Lotus/RAI 58.1 (61.6)*

3. McLaren/BUT 59.8

4. Toro Rosso/RIC 60.6

5. Force India/DIR 62.3

6. Red Bull/VAT 66.6

7. Ferrari/ALO 68.4

8. Williams/BOT 80.0

9. Sauber/HUL 89.5

10. Marussia/BIA 0.32**

11. Caterham/PIC 1.06**

* Percentage if we take out GRO's points where RAI did not race

** Difference in average place since there are no points for 2 bottom teams. BIA is too close to CHI because of 3 DNFs to none

We can see that in spite of those that argue that HAM "trounced" ROS, they were as close as can be.

I guess an acceptable percentage would be around 60, where GRO, PER, VER, and SUT were more or less close to their mates

BOT beat MAL on a single points result each so is a bit biased, but GUT was "trounced" by HUL

It also shows #2 drivers WEB and MAS were way off their partners

I miss @goferet's post so I came up with this one


I like the idea behind the maths!


Since the points awarded from 1st to 10th are not proportionate or linear, wouldn't this create a slightly distorted result, when comparing Red Bull Drivers to, lets say Force India or McLaren drivers? (top team scoring top points vs. mid-field)

Would it work better if their comparison scores were converted to 1st=10pts, 2nd=9pts... all the way to 10th=1pt?


Really nice piece of maths....very much appreciated.


Sutil is a perfect example of the nice guy finishing last. The results speak for themselves, yet it is Sutil who is more on the radar between the two. Paul is a quiet fellow who gets on with it, which is a disadvantage in F1 by the looks of it. You have to have a bit of mongrel in you for people to take notice, or at least smash someone over the head with a bottle and have a hot girlfriend in the pits during the race.


Sorry, by the nice guy I meant Di Resta.


How did Sutil manage to keep his sponsors after his legal troubles?


They looked at the facts:

1) Sutil's perception prior to the incident was that almost of a milquetoast...a bit too metrosexual actually. Certainly not the guy to start trouble.

2) He had been with the team for a long time and was well liked.

3) The German laws he was convicted under make NO leeway for not being the one to start it - if you harm someone, it's a conviction, even if accidental or in self-defence

4) A lot of the testimony against him was from Chinese "witnesses" who only testified in China, in writing. Very easy to, er, compensate for their testimony.

So given all of that, his sponsors stayed, and VJ gave him his ride back to see if he could prove himself again. The next few weeks will probably tell us if he did enough to keep it - I am not so sure, but I am VERY happy he had a chance to try on the track, rather than in a slanted court battle with one of the world's wealthiest men.


Having said that, you can't injure someone by jabbing them with a Capri-Sun.




I donno, the straw has a sharp end as well as a blunt end. I bet Jason Bourne could take out an army with a capri-sun...


Di Resta is no real loss to F1. His mistakes in Italy, Singapore and Korea were amateurish. Not to mention his whinging everytime things don't go his way. He is never going to be a leader, a motivator, and most importantly, he is never going to be a world champion. He is consistent and gets decent points every now and again but he was destroyed by Hulkenberg in 2012 which was enough evidence for me.

Sutil meanwhile is just not good enough. Money may be his saving grace for 2014 but he sure ain't on the grid based on talent. Made Di Resta look better than he actually is by being quite terrible.

Neither driver is up to the standard required frankly. Just my opinion of course.

DiResta - 6/10

Sutil - 5/10


"Di Resta is no real loss to F1. His mistakes in Italy, Singapore and Korea were amateurish" - makes no sense

How you can say he is not a world champion material ? he has beaten vettel (So called 4 WDC) in the junior categories. Paul has the skillset to be in F1.

What motivator or team leader you talk about in Force India ? You got this totally wrong. this is not a top team where you need one driver to take up the initative. It's all points scored that matters and count among the mid field teams. Paul have no need at this stage to reflect that he is a team leader

Paul has rightly crticized force india in 2013 they made too many operational errors and wrong strategy calls. Force India have failed to improve the car as well when 2013 season progressed and ended up the season with poor car

Finally all drivers have made some mistakes in certain races when you look at their careers. This includes sharp end of the grid and the tail end as well.


We need a better set of objective stats to measure performance of a driver other than wins/ poles / fast laps, etc.

Other sports you can go to the boxscore and determine who the best performers are. We need that in F1. I have no idea how to do it, but cars would need to be ranked on performance and reliability. Drivers achieving results in weaker cars will be ranked higher than those achieving similar results in stronger cars. Driver errors resulting in accidents or penalties would need be tracked. Mechanical failures would impact a cars rating, but not a drivers rating. Pit crew performance would need to be tracked.

Not a mathmetician, but you would think that someone could develop a framework which was objective an leveled the playing field. At least then the debate would be about measurable results as opposed to excuses and explainations.

Adrian Newey Jnr

Thanks for this analysis.

Whilst PdR seems to have decent speed, there appears to be something to his performance that the Tier-1 teams don't want. PdR is never in the picture for the 2nd McLaren, Lotus, Ferrari or RB cars. He would probably make a good 2nd driver (ala Irvine etc). This leads me to believe there is more to this discussion that pure lap times and podiums. Something we don't see on the cameras. Perhaps he is difficult to work with or doesn't have the feedback skills that teams are looking for. Most of all, he is probably lacking the deep pockets of over rivals.

I would love to hear what James thinks about the true reason why none of the Tier-1 teams are interested in him.


Well if the first Google search numbers on di Resta are correct, 1.85 m and 78 kg won't help his appeal to the other teams with the new weight regulations and the heavy engines.

The top teams will generally want to see top line one lap pace - one of the attractions of Ricciardo - and Hulkenberg is perceived as having an edge there, so by nature that puts di Resta at a disadvantage. Being able to look after the tyres is good in the current era, but Pirelli is looking to move away from that. Also, last year when the track was wet Hulkenberg shined, so part of that is relative to his team mate, and that marks di Resta down a little too in one of the key talent identifiers.


PDR is so boring he called the Samaritans and even they hung up!!


The only people rating Di Resta as good or more are the British media or when they interview a non-British someone and the poor guy has to say Di Resta is good out of politeness. I remember the BBC hailing him in as the new messiah in 2010 and always interviewing him and upping his very average races. Was embarrassing to watch.

Only reason he got a seat for 3 years with Force India is because of the Mercedes engines he was backed by. Some sources saying Force India got a huge discount on the engines, a few sources even claiming Force India paid nothing for the engines. A pay driver.


I think this reinforces the reality for a young driver to keep his seat in F1 today: You either have to show real signs of being a superstar in the making (i.e. start out like Vettel/Alonso/Hamilton) OR be decently fast and bring signficant sponsorhip $$. I think Paul has had enough time to establish if he fits into the first category (which he does not, IMO).


The second half of 2013 worked very strongly in Paul Di Restas favour when Pirellis 2012 compounds were used .He had all of 2012 racing on those whereas Sutil did not. This is a double edged sword because Suitil would be finding his feet at the time this happened.

Paul Di Resta is a tragic you only have to look at his face and realise there is never anything pleasant about to come out of it. He seems "hurt" all the time even in his first season it was the same. He seems a very negative guy and the way he always trying to talk himself up only worked against this very negative persona.


Did you really just write that...

"you only have to look at his face and realise there is never anything pleasant about to come out of it."

Are you really Sutil's wife, annoyed at Paul giving him a pasting throughout 2013? 😉


Read the posts just below and many others around. James A very politely puts it " he's a glass half empty kinda guy"... Better still listen to the guy talk at interviews and use some semblance of intellect to work it out....

Then at the end of it all -realise we are talking about 12th & 13th place !

When you you've come to grips with that reality you & Paul can blow whom ever you chose in or out of the park.


He carries a piece of dark cloud around, it seems, even on a brightest sunny day. I think he should hire Tony Robins, who allegedly helped with the career turn-around for Andre Agassi - someone who had a load of talent but not fully realizing it before the intervention.


As others have pointed out his "personality" is less than desirable. Hardly a team player; I recall him slagging off the team in a prior race and then praising his own performance later (in changing conditions)- he called his decision to go out on slicks "inspired". Who talks about themselves like that? He needs a behavioral coach. He could have learned a thing or two from Jenson, but I suspect he's too impervious to such nuanced behavioral models.


I'd say Jenson 'moans' more than Paul, plus he didn't have a car that went from good to bad this year like Paul did.

Still rather have a 'moaner' than a guy that needs his team's marketing people to pass on the boring 'right' thing to say.

It's akin to the reality TV watching nutters voting off all the interesting characters at the start of say BigBrother then finding their show gets boring.

Bottom line is Paul is the fastest and best guy left to race that car on Sundays. Paul will be the best guy to push on Hulk. Paul VS Hulk is the closest pairing for the fans who want racing in F1. It's a no brainer if you forget about the pay-driver bringing money thing. Does Vijay the racer have the 'love-spuds' to sign Hulk/di Resta though?

Wonder when we'll find out. I still think Bernie and Vijay should organise a sponsored televised shootout involving all the drivers - better than watching Christmas repeats of Only Fools and Horses on the telly. 😉


McLaren didn't feel that way when they picked Perez last year over Hulkenberg and di Resta. Perez brings the experience from being at McLaren, which is a step up from FI and Sauber, and racing against a World Champion. So I don't think the majority necessarily agree with you on di Resta being better than Perez based on what we've seen so far.

Perez then brings two significant advantages. He's a lot lighter than Paul, which could bring immediate lap time next year and he can bring money. Whitmarsh has also described Perez as a charming person, which might be attractive to the cohesion of the team compared to Paul's "glass half empty" (to quote others) nature.


If ever there was an example of 'two bald men fighting over a comb' it's these two. Sutil showed promise but never really peaked in his career and DiR complains, a lot. Neither has been really dazzling, especially when you look at a couple of the performances from drivers around them.


James how would describe your interaction with Paul? Is how people describe him here unfair?


Regardless of his personality, I don't think he's done enough in the car to guarantee a drive in F1.

I think the general consensus is that Hulkenberg is an outstanding talent. He has the ability to transcend machinery and shine as a driver. He has won respect from the entire F1 community. And there was a serious possibility that he would not find a drive for 2014.

In the absence of personal sponsorship, or corporate fast tracking, Hulkenberg is the benchmark for securing a drive in F1 on talent alone. Paul Di Resta is fine, he's had some good drives, but he's generally anonymous on track.

For instance, I know JEV and van de Garde De excel in mixed conditions, I know Bianchi is inherently quick, a top driver in the making. Ricciardo is a qualifying specialist. Sutil is a robust on track racer who gives as good as he gets. But, I don't really know anything about Di Resta. What does he excel at? What is his speciality? And that's despite a lot of support from British TV pundits, like Coulthard and Brundle.


He can be a bit dour, sometimes he's friendly sometimes not. But he certainly seems a "glass half empty" kind of guy


Unfair james

Do you really think paul does not deserve a seat for 2014 in F1 ?

PDR is a very fast driver and did a commendable job with Force India compared to the likes of what sutil and Perez have done with FI and Mclaren in 2013.

Just because paul is dull and not in the headlines all the time he does not deserve the 2014 drive ?


James do you think there was anything in Di Montezemelo listing Di Resta as a Ferrari target in the interview at Monza I think it was? Just being nice to the British media or was he rated higher before his run of crashes later in the season?

With the back problems that Kimi had at the end of the season maybe a third driver at Ferrari whilst doing some other series wouldn't be a bad option for him?


Force India should keep Sutil if only for the potential end of race glassing at a party!

Tornillo Amarillo

DI RESTA came to F1 saying other drivers got it easy... (I guess he talked about Vettel and Hamilton).

But he got his opportunity to shine, and got too many errors causing DNF, etc. So it's OK he has now a good attitude for going outside F1, maybe it will come the time soon to win and be finally happy.


There were at least 2 or 3 races with splitted strategies. So it is luck(?) who got the better strategy and less the personal driving skill.

Which was the race were Sutil on a different strategy kinda blocked the field so DiRestas strategy worked?


Possibly Abu Dhabi is the one you are thinking of, or even India.


All this idle talk about drivers is pathetic, go to the isle of man TT and see what skill and bravery means, as Mark Weber said after seeing the TT that what he did was for little girls


I'll agree on the bravery/risk taking bit. That the likes of Valentino Rossi wouldn't do the TT as too risky suggests to me that average skill level isn't as great as MotoGP. That almost all the TT riders are British reduces the size of the talent pool too. Mark Webber is a friend of John McGuinness, so it is not surprising he says nice things about him.


BBC did a piece on him during the Italian GP. He seemed like a really nice bloke. The point is that some people cant be positive after three years without any meaningful result. He's certainly a superb GT driver but didn't amaze anyone in a single seater.


Somtimes it is so easy to judge about people, like some say that Diresta is an arrogant bloke and so on. But i think that silent waters have deep bottoms. Probably not the best driver out there, but the boy had some bad luck this year. My opinion would be he deserves another shot. The case against Hamilton sr. did'nt help either i suppose.

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