Bianchi and Sutil vying to be Di Resta’s team mate

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In the round-up: Jules Bianchi and Adrian Sutil are leading the running to partner Paul di Resta at Force India in 2013.


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Two horse race for Force India seat as Buemi is ruled out (James Allen on F1)

“According to veteran Blick writer Roger Benoit, this leaves Jules Bianchi in pole position for the seat [at Force India], with former FI driver Adrian Sutil still a possibility.”

Brawn: Aero changes caused slump (Autosport)

“We made a decision to change the structure of the aero group. We had to wait for [new aero chief] Mike Elliot to join us because we had a notice period he had to fulfil at Lotus.”

“The new engines are not going to be silent…” (Peter Windsor)

“Charlie [Whiting] didn’t elaborate here, but (in a nice counterpoint to what would occur in Singapore 27 years later) legend has it that Nelson [Piquet] had selected the exact rail of Armco barrier against which he was going to crunch the Brabham on its slow-down, victory lap in the event that its suspension was still down. Thanks to Nelson’s judicious use of kerbs, the ride height was legally up by the time he reached the potential accident zone, although Nelson couldn’t resist winding up the Brabham boys who were watching a hazy black-and-white TV monitor on the pit wall. Pretending to steer towards the relevant Armco and then veering away at the last second, he gave them all a cheeky wave as he drove on to the podium and thus to scrutineering. The gesture was lost on everyone else…”


Comment of the day

Will anyone follow Ferrari’s lead in using pull-rod suspension at the front of their car in 2013? Thoughts from @JamieFranklinF1:

I’ve been wondering for the past 12 months what may have happened had McLaren adopted the pull-rod suspension at the front pre-season. Their lower nose would have benefited the design more so than the Ferrari, and with Jenson’s smooth style, it would probably have assisted in heating the front tyres for better qualifying performance.

Had it not been for the alterations in the tyre compounds for 2013, then I reckon McLaren would have gone down this route, considering the driver line-up they had. Now, however, it may be too risky. But if any team are to do it, then they could benefit the most from it.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Regis and t3x!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Ten years ago today former F1 team Arrows went into receivership. Their former base in Leafield, Oxfordshire was later home to Super Aguri and is now used by Caterham.

Image © Sahara Force India F1 Team

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62 comments on “Bianchi and Sutil vying to be Di Resta’s team mate”

  1. I don’t see why Force India would pick either of them two drivers. Personally I’d much rather Kovalainen driving my car.

    1. Some people would prefer Sutil driving their car :)

    2. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
      2nd January 2013, 17:54

      And I’d like to see new blood in F1-racing (Bianchi). That’s because I have feeling that Alonso will end his career soon. So, I’m desperate to find someone who could “replace” Nando:-)

      1. Antonio Felix da Costa is a name to watch out for if you’re looking for a future star. Expect to see him in a Toro Rosso in 2014 (or earlier if they boot one of their drivers mid-season).

  2. That is a thoroughly interesting interview with Whiting: it’s nice to see the human side of the sports’ regulators and “referees”!

  3. Joey Zyla (@)
    2nd January 2013, 1:42

    Blick? Really? He referenced Blick?

  4. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
    2nd January 2013, 1:55

    In my opinion, Sutil is a no-no for Force India and I really cant see why he would be appealing. Five years in Formula One and he hasn’t really done enough to deserve that seat for an extended period of time. Bianchi could be a good option but it really depends on what Vijay Mallya wants – a gamble on a young, inexpierienced rookie who could well be a new star in the making, or if he wants a more solid reliable driver who has already had a taste of F1.

    I guess Force India’s main goal is to acheive sixth in the constructors and to possibly acheive a podium or two in the season to come. So for a safe bet, they really cant go wrong with a driver like Kovalainen who has expierience and is sure to deliver consistent results.

    1. In my opinion, Sutil is a no-no for Force India and I really cant see why he would be appealing.

      When Paul di Resta was taken on in 2011, he was placed there with the understanding that he would be assessed for a future drive with a front-runnng team, probably Mercedes or McLaren. In exchange for this, Force India would get a subsidy on their Mercedes engines. However, two years later, vacancies became available at both teams, and di Resta was not promoted to either.

      With the engine formula being revised for 2014, there has been talk that costs will increase exponentially. Since di Resta will not be going to a front-running Mercedes team any time soon – both Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez have multi-year deals with Mercedes and McLaren – he is only really good for the engine subsidy.

      Meanwhile, Jules Bianchi is connected to Ferrari. He could offer Force India the same benefit as di Resta did, provided that the team switched to Ferrari engines rather than continuing with Mercedes. In that case, it would make sense to drop di Resta entirely, and employ both Bianchi and Sutil, with Sutil’s experience serving as a benchmark for Bianchi’s driver development.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I agree with you. Di Resta’s facing a blind alley, and his only hope would be if Perez has a disastrous season next year for McLaren who drop him, and if the Briton impresses with some strong drives and is consistent throughout, then McLaren might consider taking him for 2013. However, I for one, can’t see it happening, Perez is probably McLaren’s long-term option. Di Resta’s other hope for 2014 will be if he gets in to talks with Ferrari, agree to be a subservient no.2, but I think his former teammate Huelkenberg has got a better chance to replace Massa. Lotus might consider di Resta, but again performance is a prerogative.
        In every way I see, Force India will probably take Bianchi for 2013, get the Ferrari deal on the dotted line, and then replace di Resta with Sutil(or someone else) for 2014.

      2. Spot on Prisoner Monkeys

        Di Resta has been overlooked by Mercedes and McLaren so there’s little point in Mercedes continuing to provide Force India with discounted Mercedes engines.

        Di Resta now is of little value to the team, (he’s not fast enough to be the team leader anyway) they could run Sutil in 2013. Force India know better than anybody else that Sutil is faster than Di Resta, and Bianchi would provide free or at the very least discounted Ferrari engines from 2014.

        1. To be fair, DiResta was overlooked by Mercedes because Hamilton came available, forcing Schumi into retirement. And Perez at McLaren… Mexican money.
          But that’s all ifs and buts. DiResta is in a bad spot and probably will never make it.

          1. @verstappen

            And Perez at McLaren… Mexican money.

            Or maybe it was the three podiums Perez got compared to none for di Resta.

      3. @prisoner-monkeys that idea has been in my mind since last Di Resta debate… what will happened if Force India decide to actually not giving him a contract? After all why would they wait so much time to confirm a driver that was already driving for them the year before unless they were actually considerin dropping him?

        The deal with Mercedes was that Di Resta will be with Force India until Schumi decide to retired… this already happened and they passing him by… And is not like he is bringing them any money, and he is not turning the field on fire with his results.

        So why not take a driver like Kobayashi or Kovalainen?, or Bianchi who will help them to secure a better deal with Ferrari…

        1. @celeste

          After all why would they wait so much time to confirm a driver that was already driving for them the year before unless they were actually considerin dropping him?

          Force India do like to confirm both their drivers at once. If two drivers are still competing for one seat, then they obviously don’t have a second driver in place, and won’t announce their line-up.

          Furthermore, Vijay Mallya is still in financial trouble. Kingfisher Airlines has lost its licence to fly, still has debts of nearly $1.5 billion, and its lenders are refusing to loan them more money. With his airliner in such a perilous state, Mallya’s liquor empire is not going to be able to sustain it and the team for long, so Force India could be in limbo until the situation is resolved.

        2. @celeste As I understand, di Resta still has strong ties to Mercedes so I guess Force India are keeping him for 2013 to get cheap Mercedes engines (again) or something like that. Even if FI are planning to switch to Ferrari engines in the future, they haven’t done it yet. And it’s possible that Mercedes still want to have sort of a reserve driver or that they still see di Resta as their potential future race winner. Di Resta seems to be fully convinced of staying with team in 2013 himself, too.

      4. @prisoner-monkeys I like this idea, although I do have doubts as to Sutil’s race-readiness in a comeback. He hasn’t raced anything since leaving F1 last year, so he will be somewhat rusty.

        1. @journeyer – Which just makes Bianchi look better, earning the team the approval and satisfaction of Ferrari.

        2. Yes lets drop sutil after his best season to cool him down for a year then pick him back and Di resta is the est driver never done anything if Koba lost his seat after a podium the Di Resta is out it will be alguersuari and Bianchi

  5. I Love the Pope
    2nd January 2013, 2:30

    I didn’t mind Sutil. Quite frankly, I liked him a lot more than Paul Di Resta.

    1. I really don’t understand why people feel Sutil wasn’t quite worthy of F1.
      With the right car, I reckon he is even WDC material.

    2. I always liked him too, he improved a lot in his last two seasons.

  6. Found an interesting story late last night: David Brabham believes there is a possibility that the Brabham (team) name could return to Formula 1 some time in the future, provided they can sort out the ownership of the name. There was a previous attempt to get the team back into the sport led by Formtech Composites GmbH, a German company (whose activities I am unsure of) that had previously acquired Super Aguri’s assets when the team was shut down, and still owns their intellectual property rights. The Brabham family did not approve of this entry bid, and moved to block it. I’m not sure if they were successful or not, but it ultimately proved to be moot, since the entry was not accepted to the grid and was not placed on the reserve list.

    1. Interesting story. From the tone of David Brabham’s quote in that article it seems like the family are being very careful about who they let try bring the name back into F1, which is obviously a good thing in the wake of the often tedious Lotus vs Lotus debacle.

      1. Easily (and probably best) forgotten that David also drove for Brabham in F1, but that wasn’t the team’s finest hour, so it’s not surprising if he wants any comeback done properly.

        Wonder if Matthew could make the unique achievement of three generations of Brabhams driving Brabhams? Good to hear about him signing up with Andretti Autosport recently.

  7. I noticed that King Fisher Airlines (sponsor of the team) is in financial difficulties and has lost their license. Vijay Mallya the owner of Force India is also owner of airline . Will this have an impact on the team ? I think so.

  8. P. di Resta scored 44 points in first 14 races and in the last 6 races got 2 points totaling 44.
    and N Hulk scored 31 points in first 14 races and in the last 6 races got 32 points totaling 63.
    This is di Resta’s second season and he has done well in the initial period of the season and his performance dives down the later. He needs to get his act together and make a big impression in 2013 if he wants to move to a bigger team, if he does not have a good season in 2013 then it’s likely that Force India too may consider dropping him for 2014. I think Hulk made a wrong move to Saubers, VJM05 was pretty consistent and was a step forward & i have a feeling that they will be faster than Saubers next year.

    1. But moving to a Sauber may give the Hulk ties with Ferrari, which is a good future move for him.

  9. Its interesting to hear Ross Brawns reflections on the year, and it seems to tie in perfectly with their form slump. The question I have though is, did they know Schumi was moving on or not before making that decision. Its starting to smell like they sacrificed the 2012 season in search of jumping the squabbling top 3 teams in 2013, as well as leading with a new lead driver.

    Merc might actually surprise us all this year, looking forward to the opening round already :)

  10. Out of these two, I’d take Sutil. I believe that he is a very decent driver, who deserves to be in F1 on merit. Jules Bianchi would be a rookie, who probably hasn’t impressed as much as people expected him to a few years ago. According to JA, he hasn’t been as impressive as Hulkenberg in the free practice sessions, too. I’m usually happy to see new drivers in F1 but I’m not sure if Bianchi deserves to make debut in F1 more than Sutil deserves to return or than Kovalainen deserves to stay.

    Anyway, if Bianchi is going to become a F1 race driver, then I hope that Robin Frijns will join him on the grid soon…

  11. Bianchi would be a rational choise, as mentioned above, if Force India would like to continue with Ferrari engines in the turbo era. Besides, it’s a tendency, that reserve drivers at this team will earn a race-contract (Liuzzi, di Resta, Hülkenberg).
    Sutil proved himself as a safe pair of hands (from 2010 at least), and he had to leave at a high, he had a fantastic second half of 2011. Logically they would have continued the relationship if that particular lawsuit had not been in progress, that could have take the German out of F1 action any time.

    If the teams shortlist has really been narrowed down to these two drivers, than it will be a very hard decision.
    If it’s a political decision, then Bianchi will earn the seat, but it tells a lot about the uncertainity that he has not been confirmed yet, in the previous seasons the team announced their lineup much earlier.
    If it’s a financial decision, Sutil must be the choice, as he will bring the Medion sponsorship money, plus experience, plus he knows the environment. If it’s a financial decision for a longer term, cheaper Ferrari engines, maybe further technological support, and the fact that they don’t have to pay for a “loaned” driver could however also mean that Bianchi would be chosen.

    But, with Jaime Alguersuari with all his Pirelli testing experience and a strong 2011 second half performance, Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi still looking for a seat, I’m not sure I would be happy to chose from those 2 above…

    1. Totally agree with you @andrewt. Heikki, Kamui or even Senna would be better in those seats. I think the focus of FI should be on this coming season’s results and not 2014. As much as Bianchi might surprise a few people and find some form, the future of the team itself is not secure.

    2. If it’s a political decision, then Bianchi will earn the seat, but it tells a lot about the uncertainity that he has not been confirmed yet, in the previous seasons the team announced their lineup much earlier.

      @andrewt Not really – perhaps last year, but Di Resta’s debut was only confirmed on January 26th of that year.

  12. Force India have a tough choice to make. Sutil is probably the safer choice, given that he is a known quantity, but being safe isn’t always the best option. Perhaps Bianchi would be the better choice, but they don’t necessarily know that yet, and it would beg the question as to why they would give him practice session drives, if he wasn’t going to make an appearance in a race seat sooner or later.

    But as others have eluded to, maybe there are other drivers on the grid that may be able to do a better job, with the added bonus that they wouldn’t be race rusty. Kovaleinen and Kobayashi come to mind.

    There are a number of options at their disposal, not forgetting Alguersuari either.

  13. I’m not too happy about either of them so for me Force India is becoming very unattractive and as far as I am aware di Resta is yet to be confirmed by the team so his seat is in no way safe. That’s why the title of this article confused me. They should have definitely chosen Alguersuari over these two.

  14. I’d go for Sutil. Bianchi hasn’t impressed me at all, and Sutil seems like a more solid points scorer. He did very well in my oppinion in 2011, and beat PdR fair and squar.

  15. I’m sure Senna would match Di Resta if he could get the Force India drive for 2013! Di Resta was better than Hulkenberg in the first half of the season but was clearly behind his team mate in the second half even in race pace, while Senna was level with Maldonado in race pace almost all year. Di Resta was in his second year of racing with his team to Hulkenberg’s first, while Senna was in his first to Maldonado’s second. Furthermore Di Resta had more track time, he didn’t lose 15 FP1. So Senna has a lot of room to improve, as even in 2012 he was not given equal conditions to his team mate. Senna would be even better than Sutil, as he raced this year and Sutil was out. Another thing that would help Senna to improve would be 2013 tyres, which will have a larger performance window, suiting more his driving style. So he would qualify much better in 2013, recovering the qualifying form that he showed with Lotus in 2011. As he is already very good and consistent in races, that would make him a really good asset to Force India, capable to win races if he has a good car. He would be at least as good as Paul Di Resta.

    However, I reckon there is a degree of uncertainty, as even the driver or his fans can’t be absolutely 100% sure he will be fast enough and will completely recover his qualifying form. But surely he would do better than Bianchi, now the favourite for the drive. Also drivers like Kobayashi, Kovalainen (or even Alguersuari or Buemi, despite spending a year out) could do better than Bianchi or even better than Sutil, so that says a lot about how things are done in F1.

    1. I had forgotten about Senna. I actually think he’d be a better choice than either Sutil or Bianchi. Without losing his practice sessions all year, he could prove to be a good team mate to Hulkenberg, though it would be his make or break year if that were to happen. I guess it all depends on whether Force India want to give a chance to a new, young driver (Though Bianchi isn’t really that young), perhaps an unknown quantity that might prove to be an excellent decision, or just go with another solid, but average driver.

  16. My guess? It’s going to be Sutil.

    FI continued with the Medion sponsorship he brought to the table but all parties likely agreed to sideline him whilst the legal row was resolved. Vijay’s plan all along was likely to keep him in the background whilst they moved one or both of their 2012 drivers on somewhere else.

  17. By the way, nice to inform Buemi he Has no chance anymore.

  18. Di Resta: The most boring man in F1. Once offered the job of playing a body on an episode of Taggart.
    Sutil: Most interesting feature being his rather unattractive criminal record. Boo Hiss!
    Bianchi: Unknown…

    All of these drivers have the potential to disappoint, so I’d sign Bianchi (the unknown is always exciting, at least for five minutes) and then write a clause in di Resta’s contract that ensures he attends every race in fancy dress. He will also be obliged to talk about pokemon in all press conferences, and walk backwards everywhere. And drive barefoot, just as an affectation.

    1. @splittimes – I love how much faith you have in the potential Force India line-up!

  19. Persoanlly I believe Force India would be better to go with the fresher blood. Sutil is a known quantity by the team and he does have pace but I don’t believe he is supremely talented, whereas with Bianchi there is always a chance he may outshine Di Resta. With the financial state Vijay Mallya has found himself in I think Force India ought to take the gamble (and of course any money they can), as it may just pay off.

    1. I’m sure you are right about the money Max, it’s unfortunate but money will probably be more decisive than talent at FI next year. too bad Maldonado is taken.

      1. @hohum Ah yes, but Maldonado also brings a financial burden with the amount of penalties and damage he incurs! Seriously though, it’s a shame Force India may have to succumb to the lure of sponsorship money at the possible expense of driver talent, as they were one of the few remaining teams to employ their drivers primarily on talent (Hulkenberg and Di Resta aren’t acknowledged as “pay drivers”).

        They’ll need all the help they can get now though, they had clearly fallen behind both Sauber and Williams on outright pace last year (although they did receive a boost by both beating the Williams with the erratic form of their drivers and of course seemed to be faster towards the end of the year with Hulkenberg leading the Brazilian GP) and money can only help fund development to try and claw back the deficit.

        1. Most of the so-called pay drivers are just as good as other young talents, so that talk about a team chosing a driver based on talent and not sponsorship doesn’t make sense. In the recent wave of talents the best is maybe Hulkenberg, then we have Perez, Maldonado and Grosjean. Perez and Maldonado bring a lot of money to a team but they are really good, better than Di Resta or Kobayashi, who apparently don’t bring too much money with them (but Di Resta has Mercedes backing, so he maybe should also be considered as a pay driver and money from Mercedes maybe is more than the amount of sponsorship Senna has – and as drivers I believe they are at the same level). So Di Resta may have a financial advantage over Senna or Kobayashi (who also raised a good amount in Japan) due to Mercedes and he is where he is also based on that. Bianchi is another one who might win the Force India drive for the amount of money he has, due to Ferrari backing.

          1. Most of the so-called at drivers are just as good as other young talents

            Yes, pay-driver isn’t used in the sense it used to be, where they clearly had very little talent but deep pockets allowed them to take part in F1 as an almost “hobby”. Thankfully, such a ridiculous practice doesn’t take place anymore but I still maintain that there are greater talents out there than the likes of Gutierrez for example, that are perhaps being denied an opportunity (for the meantime anyway). Drivers like Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are good examples of non-pay drivers who are exceptionally talented and I’m sure there are more out there, like Felix Da Costa for example.

          2. Yes, I agree. I only disagree to the pay driver label many people put on drivers like Maldonado or Senna saying they are only in f1 for the money and not talent, even if they had better results in junior categories than a Champion like Damon Hill. Coming from British fans that puzzles me a lot and also when they say Senna won’t get any better because he is already 29, as Hill got better in 1995, at 35 and still better in 1996 at 36.

            At the end of the day all drivers need a huge amount of backing, even the likes of Hamilton (from McLaren since his teens) or Vettel (from Red Bull since junior categories). Nationality also takes a part but I hope Felix da Costa is given a good opportunity in F1 and being Portuguese of course I will be a fan of him.

          3. Fernando, right now the “pay” drivers are as you say good drivers, my worry is the trend towards needing sponsors backing before a driver can show his ability by getting a drive, after all F1 drivers become “pay” drivers the owners of GP2, F2, F3, Frenault, will be looking for sponsored drivers as well. Where will it stop? and how will a talented but unfinanced junior driver get the opportunity to show what he can do.

    2. I’m not convinced with Senna. I do think the primary reasons he got into F1 were because of his name and his financial backing. I don’t feel he will ever be World Championship material, whereas I could see Maldonado being tamed. After all, it is easier to tame aggression than improve speed – you have to have a certain element of natural talent which I believe Senna falls short on.

      I’d much rather see Felix Da Costa in a race seat than Senna at this moment in time, which is really what it boils down to for me now: there are more talented people out there that I believe are more worthy of a seat.

    3. Max I found hard to understand why the payers will want the worst driver to sponsor and the “talent” drivers can’t get any, you may be misslead. In fact isn’t actually Alonso’s santader the biggest sponsor of F1 ?

      1. Did Alonso have the major sponsorship before his success though? Often success brings sponsorship, as corporations will be looking to increase their media exposure and obviously the best drivers get the most coverage.

      2. Nick, as Max says success attracts sponsorship but how do you achieve success if you cant drive until you have a sponsor?

        1. That is the bad side of racing at a high level, as it is an expensive sport and many talents are lost or never have the opportunity to develop. It became even worse following the effects of financial crisis. Unfortunately it seems things won’t change. Take F1, costs should be reduced a lot more than they are but Top Teams just don’t care as they only look for their short term interests of winning whatever it costs.

  20. It’s normal people are not convinced by Senna based on his qualifying form this year. What I don’t think is normal is people considering he won’t get any better. In junior categories he showed more talent than Damon Hill, the only driver we can compare with him as they both started very late and they both had (have) famous surnames. Had Bruno got the Brawn drive he surely would get similar results to those Hill had with Williams in 1993 and with the same conditions Hill had in his time he probably would have done even better. He would be a much better driver by now, much more developed, of that I’m quite sure. Spending 3 years without a proper development (due to the financial crisis) damaged his career badly and he could not improve at the same rate of other young drivers. But he can still improve a lot if he is given a proper chance (without losing 15 FP1) and will surely get better with more experience. Even Damon Hill got better at 36, how could a driver that showed more talent in junior categories not get better??? The only way not to get better (in F1) is not having another chance with a midfield team.

    Yes, Felix da Costa may be way better on potential than Bruno but that is not a fair comparison, as Bruno lost 10 years due to his uncle’s death and still spent 3 years without a proper chance due to the financial crisis. It would be more reasonable to compare Felix da Costa with Ayrton Senna or Sebastian Vettel. Furthermore, being Portuguese, also I’d much rather see Felix da Costa in a race seat than Senna at this moment in time.

    1. You compare him to Damon Hill. Granted, he is a world champion and you don’t just win world championships without having a certain degree of skill but I don’t rate him very highly among the select group. As you say (and I agree entirely) Felix Da Costa has much more potential, so you draw comparisons to Ayrton Senna and the like. Well I’m going to now then compare Senna (Ayrton) and Hill: one is considered the greatest racing driver in history, the other filled the void left by him. One is a three-time champion, the other a one (granted, Senna has had more fast cars but Hill had the fastest car in at least two seasons with good but not great teammates, unlike the Senna/Prost combination).

      If you ask the question of whether I’d rather have Ayrton or Damon in my team, in a heartbeat I’d pick Ayrton. That isn’t the point though, the point is I think Bruno is a decent driver but he’ll never be a brilliant driver, unlike perhaps Felix Da Costa or less probably Bianchi who have the potential to be.

      1. Damon Hill was also decent but was never brilliant. He just had the chance to develop his skill much more than Bruno and at a time there was almost unlimited testing. He had the ideal conditions to develop and improve as a driver, but I believe any other driver would get similar results with the same conditions and the same cars he drove in F1 from 1993 to 1996. That includes some 90% of f1 drivers of the ninetees and close to 100% of drivers of the current f1 grid. Had Ayrton not died Hill could only win a race if both Ayrton and Michael could not finish and he would add only a few more wins to the 3 he got in 1993. Yes, he did well against a Prost that had been out of racing in 1992 and was already 38 or 39. After Imola in 1994 he was completely dominated by Schumacher and could only be a match in the championship due to the many points the German lost with penalties and everything, otherwise the difference would be some 30 or 40 points at least instead of 1. He improved in 1995 and even more in 1996 but was champion having by far the best car and a rookie as a team mate. At Hungaroring in 1997 he had maybe the race of his life but don’t forget Pirelli tyres were by far better on that day. Yes, he won with Jordan but in 1999 he could do nothing against Heinz-Harald Frentzen, way better than him with the same car. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t intend to devaluate what Hill did even if I did just that as I don’t rate him very highly either. The point is that I believe if Bruno Senna was English instead of being Brazilian maybe some people wouldn’t be so harsh on their judgements. The fact is that Bruno qualified in Q3 for 50% of races he competed with Lotus in 2011, so that proves he has much more raw speed than he showed in a year he could put his car in Q3 only for 5% of the races.

  21. If F1 2013 will be anything like F1 2012, then the intense midfield battle will be won by the occasional spectacular performance rather than solid and consistent finishes.

    If Force India want that 5th place in the constructors, they can’t afford to have a pair of solid but unspectacular drivers. A string of top-10 finishes will mean squat if Sauber can pull off a handful of podiums again.

    I feel that, while both unquestionably quick, Di Resta and Sutil lack that certain spark that could put them up front on a drizzly day, or that would enable them to hold their own against Alonso. I reckon FI would do better with Kobayashi or Kovalainen, or even Alguersuari.

    Bianchi, well… he seems to have been hovering around F1’s higher feeder series for years and has not been exceptionally breathtaking. But I suppose we’ll never know how good he is until he races in a Grand Prix, so with the choice being to either take a risk with him or play it safe with Sutil, I’d choose to risk it with Bianchi.

  22. If Force India are serious about finishing in the top 5 in 2013, they will need better driver’s than Di Resta and Bianchi to achieve this.

    Di Resta has been beaten by every F1 team mate he’s had and Bianchi failed to win the GP2 or WSR 3.5 Championships dispite only driving for front running team’s in those series.

    Force India in 2013 could very well be running two of the most over rated drivers motorsport has ever seen.

  23. Di Resta was very clearly shaken by the news from Mercedes and McLaren..all his confidence from Singapore must’ve withered away..he must be given 1 last chance @FI IMO..if he can become consistent throughout the season, he could get as many as the Hulk even though he lacks qualy pace of his former teammate

    That leaves us with 1 seat which must be given to Kobayashi/ Kovalainen..Kobayashi will have some money through his fans(cheers to evryone who donated), and he looks more spectacular in a car-goes well with the larger than life attitude of Vijay Mallya+a lot of potential Japanese supporters for FI..I’d pick him :D

    1. @forcef1 Kobayashi has given up on pursuing a 2013 drive, so it’s unlikely we’ll see him in a Force India seat. Of the two most likely candidates mentioned, I’d pick Bianchi. Sutil is the dependable option but with the state Force India are in financially I’d say they’d be best off taking the risk with a comparative rookie.

  24. Kobayashi with podium no drive, Di resta drive ?

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