Is Paul di Resta overrated?

Jawad Yaqub Roar Guru

By Jawad Yaqub, Jawad Yaqub is a Roar Guru

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    27-year-old Scottish driver Paul di Resta, who has just completed his third full time season in Formula One, is used to getting a spruce up from the British media.

    di Resta now finds himself without a drive in Formula One for the 2014 season, with his seat at Force India having been taken by ex-McLaren driver Sergio Perez.

    But does di Resta really deserve to race on in the premier open-wheel championship?

    It would be too harsh to just say no, but in reality for now he has more or less been hovering around the same part of the grid for the last three years.

    When he debuted in 2011 for Force India, di Resta was given admired and dubbed ‘rookie of the year’ by many international publications including the highly accredited Autosport.

    And indeed he was impressive that year, out-qualifying his more experienced teammate in Adrian Sutil 6-2. His best finish in 2011 was a sixth in Singapore.

    The following year, di Resta was out-shone easily by the supremely talented Nico Hulkenberg.

    Hulkenberg was able to put Force India in contention for a podium in Belgium and then was leading the race in Brazil until his collision with Lewis Hamilton. Di Resta meanwhile would take to blaming the car for his misfortunes.

    The criticisms continued in 2013, where di Resta had an unfortunate streak of DNFs from Hungary to Korea. 50% were technical maladies while the other 50% were driver error.

    When you compare Hulkenberg to di Resta, despite the former having had more experience in the sport, Hulkenberg is the better driver.

    Even in his rather terrible Sauber car of 2013, the German was able to salvage three to beat his former teammate by only three points.

    Hulkenberg even was starting to threaten top drivers such as Hamilton and Fernando Alonso on track while di Resta would be blaming his team for not giving him a good enough car.

    And then the comparison with Perez is drawn, the Mexican is hands down the better driver. You only need to look at his CV which has three podiums with a career best of second place in Malaysia 2012 and then in Canada that same year.

    Perez has also driven for McLaren, one of the top teams in the sport (although this was not one of their best years). Not bad for a 23 year old.

    UK broadcaster Sky Sports took to asking Perez upon his Force India appointment over where he thinks the Scottish driver would end up. Is that really appropriate? Right after he has just taken his job.

    In the end, Force India has a solid, young and talented partnership for 2014 in Hulkenberg and Perez.

    Di Resta needed to have pencilled in those flash numbers like his successors have in their short careers.

    Money would be the Scot’s saving grace to stay in the sport, albeit with a team lower in the pecking order, which would spark more criticism.

    However the Scottish investment management group that backs di Resta do not have the same funds as say the PDVSA or Petrobras have in supporting a driver.

    It is likely now that he may return to DTM in Germany.

    So Roarers, how do you all see Paul di Resta? Does he deserve to stay in F1 without strong financial backing and an average looking CV?

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • December 17th 2013 @ 9:05am
      Elizabeth said | December 17th 2013 @ 9:05am | ! Report

      Yes Paul diresta should be there next year he is a good driver he has proved that, he has more points than half the drivers that already have a drive for 2014. I agree he opened his mouth when he should not but so does a lot of divers and it is not plastered all over the world., If the tyres had not been changed half way through the season he would have finished with a lot more than 48points, Sutil has 29 points and he has had no worries getting a drive for 2014, so I think you can safely say it is money a lot of these teams are looking for and not talent.
      Mark Weber ended up a great driver but he was driving for 7 years before he scored over 40 points and no one said he should not be there, Daniel Riccarido has scored 0 points 2011, 10 points 2012 , 19 points 2012 and next year he will be driving a Red bull I don’t hear anyone ask why.
      When it come to Paul Diresta becauce he does not walk about with a smile on his face and he answers a question with a honest answer it seems he is fare game.

      • Roar Guru

        December 17th 2013 @ 2:24pm
        Jawad Yaqub said | December 17th 2013 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

        Now the economic environment has changed compared to when Mark Webber was just in the early to mid stages of his career. When you look at the remaining options for 2013, there isn’t really anything that will suit di Resta apart from Sauber and that seat is likely to go to the highest bidder.

        If his desire really is to land a drive for a better team then it might be worth sitting a year out, do some racing elsewhere and then come back on the radar once next year’s silly season starts.

        To be fair to Ricciardo in 2011, HRT didn’t really have a package to score even one point.

      • December 17th 2013 @ 2:28pm
        mike said | December 17th 2013 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

        Elisabeth, that is the first balanced and insightful opinion I have come across regarding PDR’s short career in F1. You have hit the nail squarely, well done! Nothing more to add.

      • December 18th 2013 @ 5:23am
        Dexter The Hamster said | December 18th 2013 @ 5:23am | ! Report

        Elizabeth, think the key is not just looking at points, but looking at who gets the best out of the car they have.

        Not sure Paul has done that, generally the poorer of the two when looking at team mates.

        • December 18th 2013 @ 8:49am
          Ken said | December 18th 2013 @ 8:49am | ! Report

          ever since formula one started the only thing that decides championships is points on the board and the way the money is divded you don’t get any points for show .

        • December 18th 2013 @ 9:11am
          Elizabeth said | December 18th 2013 @ 9:11am | ! Report

          Paul Di Resta out scored and out drove his team mate all year there is no way Paul Di Resta is poorer driver.

    • December 17th 2013 @ 10:25am
      Dexter The Hamster said | December 17th 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

      I’m not sure I rate him highly.

      He has scored a lot of his points through the 1-stop strategy when everyone else is stopping twice. I always find that annoying.

      • December 17th 2013 @ 8:01pm
        Elizabeth said | December 17th 2013 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

        You can’t blame him for being good on his tyres, thats just good driving.

        • December 18th 2013 @ 5:16am
          Dexter The Hamster said | December 18th 2013 @ 5:16am | ! Report

          Rolling around at 1 sec slower than others but holding up a train behind him is not really the sort of stuff that endears you to the fans or to other teams. Maybe good driving, but not great driving, hence he is out of a seat.

          • December 18th 2013 @ 9:06am
            Elizabeth said | December 18th 2013 @ 9:06am | ! Report

            Being able to dive round on a one stop is making the best out of your car, and if the other divers can do this they will. not just Paul D iresta .

          • December 19th 2013 @ 12:43am
            million said | December 19th 2013 @ 12:43am | ! Report

            Do you think a driver intentionally wants to back marker other cars? Of course they do, if it means you’re in front then thats an obvious position to be in. The truth I think of it, in that style of racing, it is harder to be defending than attacking (DRS KERS Tyres). Now SFI had no car capable of pole, good straight line speed, good on tyres but poor in the corners. The tyre management was a big factor DIR even spoken of during the interviews on around the time of winter testing. He had mentioned that a lot of the design was based around 2013 pirelli specs and it was to optimise their full potential. Now I am no expert on F1 but what I do know is that the guy had almost mentioned “optimise the tyres” in just about every interview I have heard him in. heres a link about said design http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/106469
            Its worth noting he was the only driver working at the time for SFI, Bianchi off to marrusia and Hulk Sauber.
            Now the cars 2012-2013 were an evolution, meaning not a complete from scratch just an upgrades thing as it was the final year of the V8 era. Look at the first few races, take into account the development of the cars and then their performances and results? In addition, to the teams who were all at the time complaining on the run up to silverstone about safety issues. The truth is here that other teams had not done the homework and they thought that their cars would just work sitting around where they were 2012. After tyre change, SFI fell off the grid completely.
            The sport to me is very strange and no matter which way you put things for any individuals case, the truth of it all is that there are decisions made and rules changed and money doing all the talking.

            Di resta had a huge amount of promise an its no fact that pundits who are around in the paddock will cry out for their fellow countrymen. They see the work that goes in and the way the sport can evolve to keep money on top.
            He comes with pros and cons like any other. A good knowledge of design to work with the team and design things purposely within the limitations of the sport, that was proven through the amount of laps he managed to consecutively slap similar lap times on the board in Canada and get a good finish from being placed well at the back and out of Q1. Consistency when things are going right, example the start of the year, cant remember how many races he went in point, i think one retirement due to faulty wheel nut but points finishes back to back. Hulkenburg only just managed to rack 4 consecutive points scoring finishes and if people think thats good in a dog of a sauber apparently then that is fine, he had plenty more opportunity to do that last year.

            I could go on for long enough but its not changed anything, he just didnt have the sponsorship or the management clearly by whats in the news now but I reckon if he can get back on DTM and winning ways, he will have a look in for a top seat over next 2 or 3 years

    • December 18th 2013 @ 11:23am
      Frankie Hughes said | December 18th 2013 @ 11:23am | ! Report

      Paul di Resta is totally overrated.

      Limited talent and idiotic tendencies see him, rightly axed for F1.

      His claim to fame is beating Sebastian Vettel in F3, where Vettel suffered a career threatening injury.

      He then won the inferior DTM championship.

      Hardly worthy of a top F1 drive.

      • December 18th 2013 @ 5:48pm
        Elizabeth said | December 18th 2013 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

        48 points prove you wrong and if the tyres had not been change he would have had a lot more points 2013.
        It’s F1 loss and it is sad money count more than talent.

        • December 18th 2013 @ 7:27pm
          Frankie Hughes said | December 18th 2013 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

          In 3 seasons he beat his team mate once.

          Says it all.

          Overrated and talentless.

          Sutil came into the 2013 season having not driven an F1 car in 15 months. So di Resta out scoring him isn’t relevant.

    • Roar Guru

      December 18th 2013 @ 11:58pm
      Mat Coch said | December 18th 2013 @ 11:58pm | ! Report

      He showed promise in his first season, failed to improve in his second and was decidedly unimpressive in his third. He was given his chance and failed to do enough to cement himself in the sport. Promise does not always equate to a successful F1 career – Tonio Liuzzi is a case in point.

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