Di Resta surprised by Force India driver delay

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Paul di Resta, Force India, Singapore, 2012In the round-up: Paul di Resta says he is surprised Force India haven’t confirmed their driver line-up yet.


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Di Resta in the dark (Sky)

“I am surprised there has been nothing yet. The team have said they will announce it in good time as to where they are going to be, and I have to respect that.”

Gascoyne: Kovalainen should have shown more respect (Crash)

“Heikki is a very talented driver but, last year, his management did not handle him very well and he has not done himself any favours. It is a tough environment out there for everyone. He has had three years with Caterham, was paid well, and he should have shown more respect about that.”

Be the team leader Jenson: Stewart urges Button to be McLaren’s No. 1 driver this season ahead of new boy Perez (Daily Mail)

“You’ve someone in Jenson who knows the engineers, telemetry people, knows the business, and who has been there, seen it and done it. So I think he can do it again (win the world title) with the right equipment, and there cannot be a better supplier of that equipment than McLaren.”

Parr urges fans to demand more of F1 (Autosport)

“I think on one level Bernie [Ecclestone] does an amazingly good job of keeping people out, because it increases the fascination. But, on the other hand, people pay a lot of money to go to Silverstone, to subscribe to watch on satellite, and they deserve more access.”

Guido Forti 1940 ?ǣ 2013 (Joe Saward)

Guido Forti, whose eponymous team competed in Formula One in 1995 and 1996, has died.

Government questions Mallya?s claim of Kingfisher Airlines flying again (The Times of India)

“‘We… want Mallya to ensure proper funding before he can get the airline back in the sky again to ensure the airline is able to maintain its schedule and fly with utmost safety standards,’ said an official.”


Comment of the day

I had no trouble finding lots of great suggestions for yesterday’s Caption Competition – Nick, BradAndCoffee, Tom L., JamesBrickles and JamieFranklinF1 all made great suggestions.

But my favourite came from the quick-on-the-draw @TommyB89, who as we saw last year is rather too good at these!

Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Fernando Alonso, Enrique Bernoldi, Melbourne, 2001

Alonso: “I can?t wait to get to Ferrari, Minardi can?t even afford to buy me a cap.”

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ace and Kei!

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

Chris Amon won another non-championship race at Levin on this day in 1968, one week after his victory at Pukekohe.

Images ?? Sahara Force India F1 Team/BMW ag

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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85 comments on “Di Resta surprised by Force India driver delay”

  1. Michael Brown (@)
    13th January 2013, 0:31

    I’ve read somewhere that Di Resta got a seat fitting at Force India, but this doesn’t guarantee a drive for Force India. It does seem likely, although I’m hoping Bianchi gets one of those seats.

    1. but this doesn’t guarantee a drive for Force India

      Perhaps that is why @keithcollantine chose a nice worried picture of Di Resta to go with the article.

    2. I think there is little chance Di Resta won’t get that Force India seat. He probably has already signed the contract, but Force India is waiting to announce him until they have their second driver (they did the same thing last year). It doesn’t make any sense to me if they would let Di Resta go and hire Sutil for instance. It would be the first time in the team’s history that they would feature a completely new driver line-up since the team was named Jordan GP.

      1. I’ve read somewhere that Di Resta got a seat fitting at Force India

        By the way, that’s true: he said so during an Autosport International interview yesterday.

  2. So much to comment on..

    I hope Di resta is out of a seat this year, only for the fact he’s been one of the most boring drivers I’ve ever seen. Hell Karthikayen’s was more exciting in 2012. I’d prefer Senna and Bianchi to have the Force India seats.

    Kovalinen should’ve shown more respect, if he was as good as Hamilton then he could act like a right ****, but he isn’t so he should try to be respectful to earn a drive. Sponsorship is required if you’re not in the top 5/6/7/8 and Kovi definitely isn’t.

    I wish I could race Alonso in karts. I’m 2.3 seconds down on the lap record at my local track but I know that was set with derestricted karts. I beat everyone normally and would love to see how much Alonso would be able to beat me by in a 40 minute session. I think all F1 drivers should be forced to enter the ROC or a similar event so the fans know who is the best.

    1. I think even Narain Cucumber could beat my fastest lap, in my own car, at my favourite circuit, in the wet, with a blindfold and the handbrake stuck on.

      These guys, even the **** ones, are talented.

      1. Check this out they’re not unbeatable: HOW TO OVERTAKE JENSON BUTTON

        This guy manages to overtake Jenson Button (a driver much better than a cucumber) through better track knowledge and a hell of a lot of skill. That must’ve felt quite increrdible..

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      13th January 2013, 6:24

      Wow. You have some strong views

      1. I’d prefer Senna and Bianchi to have the Force India seats.

        Seriously? You’d replace Di Resta because he is too boring, with Senna? What did he do last year that was exciting? I can’t remember him doing anything significant other than crashing into Vettel in the final race at Brazil.

        1. He crashed into Vettel…??? I think you’ll find that Vettel drove into him!

          But I agree, I wouldn’t like to see Senna replace him. It would be a step backwards.

          1. @nick-uk
            I don’t know about you, but I think Senna was just asking for trouble when he lunged up the inside of two cars, where one of which were a long way ahead of him. While I don’t agree that it was entirely Senna’s fault, he was certainly not innocent.

          2. @nick-uk I find the claim that Vettel “drove into” Senna utterly bizarre. If you look at the onboard camera from Vettel it’s clear he would have had little idea where Senna was. The Williams was not only behind him but two other cars as they approached the corner.

            I do not think Vettel was entirely blameless. It looks to me like he braked a little early for the corner – probably being cautious given the circumstances – and it was a bit optimistic of him to think he could do that on lap one and take his regular line.

            But to go from that to saying “Vettel drove into Senna” is a ludicrous exaggeration that does not stand up for a split-second once you watch what happened.

          3. I was largely going on what I remember Martin Brundle saying during commentary, but yes, having just had another look it is pretty chaotic. Racing incident. Both cars seemed to be trying rather ambitious moves/line choices.

          4. It never ceases to amaze me how different people can see the same incident totally differently! I would have thought the only interpretation could be that Senna was entirely to blame. He was trying to overtake three cars (di Resta, Raikkonnen, Vettel) in to the same corner?? When was the last time you saw that happen without someone crashing?

          5. He was overtaking Di Resta. Vettel and Raikkonen were on the outside and far slower, as Vettel had braken too early for the corner and Raikkonen had taken evasive action to avoid him. Bruno did nothing wrong, it was Vettel who cut across in front of him. Only at the fourth corner after the start and with so many cars around him Vettel should have kept on the outside, instead of taking the usual line. Bruno was overtaking Di Resta on the inside, totally in control, and Vettel had plenty of space on the outside of him and plenty of time to keep in front of him. Had Alonso done what Vettel did, he would have crashed with the driver on the inside of him on that corner, Hulkenberg I think. Anyway Vettel could not see Bruno was already there on the inside because there was the Force India hiding his view and Bruno could not see Vettel on the outside for the same reason. So it was a racing incident. It was a shame as Bruno could have won that race (as he is one of the best on the wet) and that could massively increase his stock and chances to get a good drive for 2013. Even if he didn’t win, I believe he would have done a great race, similar to the one Hulkenberg did.

            I’m sure Senna would match Paul Di Resta all year if he could get the Force India drive. He’s very consistent and in 2013 could improve a lot, having the same amount of track time and with 2013 tyres. Also it would be his second proper season in F1. Look at what Maldonado did in his first proper season in F1 and look at how much he improved in the second. Bruno can do the same if he is given a second full proper season!

          6. Fernando Cruz – I disagree. Vettel was taking the corner, Senna made an ambitious move up the inside.

          7. Yes, the move was ambitious but regular, he was completely in control. I agree Vettel didn’t drove into Senna, he simply cut accross in front of him. I think all of us saw it in aerial Sky images after the race and Allan McNish also said it wasn’t Senna ‘s fault. Of course, if Senna knew Vettel would take his regular line – too ambituous – he might be cautious and not done the move on the inside of Di Resta, but afterwards it’s easy to say that. I think Senna did what any real racer would do.

            Sorry Keith Collantine. I just intended to say something smilar to “no way”. English is not my native language and I might not know the exact meaning of the word I used below.

          8. Oh I would love it if Senna got the second Force India seat. I think di Resta would absolutely wipe the floor with him! But it’s not going to happen… unfortunately.

        2. @mhop

          Alonso at Turn 1 at most grand prixs this year… lol.

          1. @nick-uk
            Haha! I was meaning in the braking zone of a corner. Unlike Alonso’s heroics Senna had no significant overspeed on the cars in front. He just broke much later than everyone else! Too late!

          2. ********! Senna broke later than everyone because everyone broke too early, Vettel by mistake, Raikkonen not to crash to Vettel and Di Resta was cautious. Senna didn’t brake too late, he just braked at the right time for the conditions and that was enough to overtake Di Resta on the inside. He was totally in control and had Vettel seen him they would have taken that corner side by side with no problems. Maybe Vettel would remain in front out of the corner, or maybe he would be cautious and try to repass Senna later.

    3. I think all F1 drivers should be forced to enter the ROC or a similar event so the fans know who is the best.

      ROC don’t tell you which is the better F1 driver. It will indicate who is more versatile, or is better at adapting to different car types their characteristics. And will tell you very little about how the driver adapt to different high downforce single seaters as those are not used in ROC.
      So if we take Sebastian Loeb and Alonso and put them against each other in a WRC event, then we all know who is going to cruise to an easy win by several minutes.
      Likewise, drop both of them in a F1 car and see an outcome entirely inverse of the previous. Which is the better driver? I can’t tell you. Because they are better at different things.
      In the same way that those two have different skills, the F1 drivers can also have that.
      Di Resta would probably be one of the best of the F1 bunch in a touring car, and Petrov would be the best in a LADA on a frozen lake, and Kimi would make anyone look stupid on a snowmobile, and Schumacher would probably be the best on a racing bike.
      Who wins ROC depends a lot on their skill set and experience in different cars. Those skills does not necessarily transfer into anything useful in F1.
      There are also other skills needed for F1 that ROC won’t test at all, like how they can handle their team, give feedback, motivate, how much they care to study the telemetry and of cause also how they can manage tyres, fuel, and how they defend, attack, wet weather, damp weather and so on. Those things will make a massive difference on the F1 circuit and could to different extents make up for a slight lack of pace.

      1. I agree ROC wouldnt be anywhere near a good indicator of who’s the best driver but it’d be a good start. Maybe they should all have to prequalify for the year by racing in karts. If say Grosjean couldn’t last half an hour without injuring an opponent then say he needs to practice more before coming to F1. And it’d give us a chance to see who’s best in Karts.

        1. But what would the point of that be?
          So what if one driver is faster then another in a Kart. That doesn’t mean that the slower driver wouldn’t be faster if you gave him an equal F1 car. It would also fail to take into account all the other skills a driver in F1 needs. Focus, determination, tyre management, mechanical understanding, team leadership, motivation, physical abilities and so on.
          Karts also heavily penalize tall and heavy drivers, so Webber might be knocked out by Karthikeyan because he is 1.68 meters tall and pretty light presumably, compared to Webbers 1.84 meters. Put both of them in the much heavier and more aerodynamic F1 car and Webber will trounce Karthikeyan any day of the week.
          I don’t see the need to try to find out who is the definitive best driver..
          We will never know as they are all good at different things.
          And even if it was possible to find it who is THE best F1 driver, what fun would that be?
          Isn’t it more interesting to not know, and make up your own opinion based on what YOU as a fan think is the best, most likeable, most fun, best looking.. or whatever and then just root for him?
          I like those discussions, and having a supposedly accurate evaluation of the drivers’ skill will take a lot of the subjective evaluation away from that.

    4. I’ve been to one of the ROCs and more often than not it’s been the German team that’s won it. The drivers come from all sorts of motor sports and a few F1 drivers take part. Jenson ,David Coultard,Vettal,Michael Schummacher and Kovelainen took part when i went to watch it. Tbh i wasn’t that impressed with it

    5. I agree with @mads here; there is no real way to put a numerical value on who is the best driver: these things will always be up for debate. Personally though I feel the best way to determine who is likely the best driver is to use ballasted karts, but it is a far from perfect method – F1 cars are much faster and are different beats to handle, plus there are other factors to take into account other than raw speed.

      Still, it makes for great viewing watching F1 drivers race in karts: watching old footage of Senna & Prost battling it out in karts is fantastic!

    6. I’ve seen Karthikeyan racing karts (Chandhok as well, but that’s another story).
      There was an Indian Karting Championship and the winners of all the various categories were given a chance to race with Karthikeyan. Those guys, even though not extremely talented, were the guys that take part in the lower Formulas in India and Asia (a few even compete in Europe).

      They were all in karts with the same specs with the weights evened out in all karts, with ballast. In a 20 lap race, Karthikeyan overtook them, lapped them, let them all pass again, lapped them again, let them pass. This happened about 4/5 times. He is talented definitely. Not the best in the world but still good.

  3. I can only assume that the delay is related to driver sponsorship money: like the situation at Caterham where they won’t announce Petrov until his money hits their bank accounts!

    I think all the indications from Force India were that Sutil would get the seat, but maybe his sponsorship has fallen through? Maybe Bianchi has a chance after all?

  4. Force India is he best available seat all the drivers without a job can hope for. Unfortunately, FI is having to choose between a number of mediocre drivers. Forgive me for being rude but I am not excited about any of the 3 – Di Resta, Bianchi or Sutil.

    I am on the other hand, more interested in finding out who is the test driver for 2013. FI have gained a reputation that they are very good at giving opportunities to test drivers in this new limited-testing F1. And those drivers have done reasonably well in their next season. Let’s hope they find some seriously fast guy as the tester for 2013 and he can then make the promotion up in 2014.

    1. I hope they could snatch Sauber’s Robin Frijns for the test-driver role.

      1. No not that again! You know how far Giedo van der Garde came after being tester at Spyker(FI) and Super Aguri.

        1. @verstappen Nowadays it’s a total different story. Just look how well the test-driver role turned up to be for Hulkenberg.

          1. @klaas – And both Ferrari and Red Bull have expressed interest in recruiting Nico Hulkenberg in 2014. He’s believed to be on a one-year deal with Sauber, furthering the theory that he’s been marked out for a front-running drive. In that case, Frijns would be a strong contender for Hulkenberg’s replacement at Sauber, which is probably a much better place for a rookie driver to start his Formula 1 career.

            Besides, even if Frijns were to move to Force India, it would not guarantee him a race seat in 2014. Breaking his contract with Sauber for the Force India test role would probably burn up whatever goodwill he has with the teams (which, as a rookie driver, is virtually non-existant), and would make team principals unlikely to sign him up. Funding might be enough to persuade team principals to overlook his previous actions, but Frijns doesn’t have any.

            Breaking his contract with Sauber to move to fill the same role at Force India before the season has even begun is probably the stupidest thing Frijns could do.

          2. @prisoner-monkeys The main idea is for Frijns to have as much time spent driving a Formula 1 car as possible. Unlike Sauber, Force India granted more FP sessions to it’s testers than Sauber. I don’t see any problems with Sauber allowing Robin to do tracktime and show his worth in another’s team’s car since for this season they (Sauber) can’t afford to rob any track time from it’s new drivers. And if Nico really leaves for a top team in 2014 Sauber could anytime snatch Frijns back (if he makes a good impression).
            If Ferrari are so interested in Hulk what is the FDA member Bianchi doing in a Force India car? And I don’t think RedBull are going to sign anything other than Torro Rosso drivers.

            and would make team principals unlikely to sign him up

            We’ve seen many drivers breaking contracts during their careers (Button, Alonso) but that didn’t impede to be signed by top teams in the future. Midfield teams are take off tracks for drivers toward the Big Teams so swapping seats in order to get a chance to shine isn’t such a big crime.

          3. You’re assuming that Frijns made his decision to join Sauber on the basis of how much track time he would get. But that is not the only factor in how he would have come to his decision to join them.

  5. lets hope they announce both their drivers before the first test.

    1. They must…it will be mortal embarrassment if they unveil the car on 1st Feb with no drivers.

    2. Unless the pre-season testing is a shoot-out between Sutil and Bianchi (and DiResta?). That will give us all something to talk about, anyway.

      1. @adrianmorse
        That would be exciting, but probably not very useful for the team in terms of getting useful feedback on the car.

  6. I’d take this as meaning ‘Kovalainen is out of Caterham’.

    1. @alfie Looks that way. Let’s hope that Petrov’s money turns up or there going to look foolish! I don’t see why Gascoyne is so bent up about Kovalainen, why would he be interested in having to generate sponsorship when his talent has got him this far? I was surprised even when Kobayashi announced his plans to raise money but I guess he’s still a relative newcomer.

      1. I don’t see why Gascoyne is so bent up about Kovalainen, why would he be interested in having to generate sponsorship when his talent has got him this far?

        Ah, but did it?

        Kovalainen was out of his depth when he was racing for McLaren. He was only there in the first place because Alonso jumped ship at the last minute, and McLaren had to pick the best of a bad bunch to replace him. When he moved to The Team Formerly Known As Lotus in 2010, his position really benefited from the way Jarno Trulli insisted on racing beyond his means. Trulli was once Formula 1’s qualifying specialist, but as he slid down the order, his reputation took a beating. While Kovalainen thoroughly out-performed him in 2011, he was upstaged by Vitaly Petrov throughout 2012; Kovalainen won the qualifying battle (though petrov out-qualified him something like five times in the last seven races), but in the seventeen races they both finished, Petrov out-raced him ten times. And while I’m a fan of Petrov, I admit that he’s hardly a highly-rated driver.

        Heikki Kovalainen is a nice guy, but I don’t think he’s a particularly fast guy. At best, he would be a solid, reliable choice for a midfield team looking to bank regular points and beat their immediate rivals through consistency rather than outright speed. As someone with six years’ worth of experience in Formula 1, I can understand why Kovalainen resisted the idea of finding sponsors to secure a seat, primarily because once he did it, he would always have to do it unless he had a stunning season in 2013. But at the same time, I don’t think he’s done enough to justify keeping his seat on merit alone. He needs sponsors to make up the difference.

        1. I love the pope
          13th January 2013, 19:27

          I do not agree with you often on here, but this is right on.

        2. @prisoner-monkeys

          Kovalainen was out of his depth when he was racing for McLaren. He was only there in the first place because Alonso jumped ship at the last minute, and McLaren had to pick the best of a bad bunch to replace him

          Heikki Kovalainen is a nice guy, but I don’t think he’s a particularly fast guy. At best, he would be a solid, reliable choice for a midfield team looking to bank regular points and beat their immediate rivals through consistency rather than outright speed

          It´s about time that somebody told it as it is!! Kovalainen is a nice guy but leave it at that… I guess his exposure at McLaren made some people warm up to him but seriously… He is overrated and it really ticks me off when people here tip him to be in a front running team once again… And now he feels he´s to good to have to pay for a seat?? Get real Heikki!!!

  7. I’m a little curious what exactly Gascoine is referring to when he says Kovailanen should have shown more respect, and “he hasn’t done himself any favours”. From the outside it did appear as if Kovailanen was initially not interested in staying with Caterham, only to come [I can’t find the right verb]-ing back when it turned out nobody wanted him.

    1. From the outside it did appear as if Kovailanen was initially not interested in staying with Caterham, only to [return ] when it turned out nobody wanted him.

      1. McLaren wanted Perez, Ferrari continued with Massa, and Sauber chose Hülkenberg. I these are the seats that Heikki was trying to get. Williams had decided a long time ago to sign Bottas. Force India and Caterham want money, which Kovalainen doesn’t have.

    2. I can understand what Gascoyne means. Kovalainen should have kissed his Caterham employer’s hands for giving him a chance to stay in F1 after he messed up his career big time during his 2-year fiasco at McLaren. Now really, Heikki must have thought that he’s a great asset for Caterham and probably aquired some primadonna traits in the conditions when he should have shut up and be thankful that he stiil has a drive for which he doesn’t have to pay. But looking at it objectively, he hasn’t done anything extraordinary for the team or at least anything that an average driver like Petrov couldn’t beat so I’m surprised by his recent interview claims that big teams overlooked him – and rightfully so – with so much fresh talent on the market, who would look at a guy who couldn’t even finish in top 5 the year his team-mate became WDC?

    3. @adrianmorse

      only to come [I can’t find the right verb]-ing back

      Crawl would suffice! ;) I think that was due to the lack of interest he attracted from the bigger teams, so perhaps he hadn’t lived up to all the hype.

      1. Thanks, @vettel1, that was indeed the word I was looking for.

    4. It think “Kovalainen” in this case means his new management. The plan in 2010 was for three years – in that time, Lotus/Caterham was supposed to be in the midfield. That didn’t happen, so Heikki started looking for other options. Unfortunately, no seats opened up, and by this time the management had burned bridges to Caterham as well. I don’t know if this has been covered in non-Finnish media, but Tony Fernandes said some harsh things about this management team during the Singapore GP, and ever since then things have looked pretty bad for Heikki.

      I think Heikki should’ve been more active trying to find a better seat during the 2011 season, when he was probably more highly rated than during 2012.

    5. Nick Jarvis (@)
      13th January 2013, 12:59


      1. @nickj95gb, @lite992 Yes, we have already established this! ;)

    6. Michael Brown (@)
      13th January 2013, 13:20

      “Only to come crawling back,”

  8. jimscreechy (@)
    13th January 2013, 8:13

    Given the state of Kingfisher Airlines I wouldn’t be at alll surprised if Force India doesn’t make the grid at all. I bet Malya has his plate full and is more worried about trying to avoid having his assests siezed that an announce a driver line up.

    1. @jimscreechy

      But KFA is not Force India.

      Mallya pumped 50 mill into Force India before Brazil. That says much about his commitment.

      Also, he sold a wad of his UBS stake to diageo.

      I don’t get why everybody keeps bringing this up again. Yes mallya lost money, but that’s because of his airline. He has other profitable businesses which are doing him plenty fine.

      Hell – He could sell the Indian empress or whatever his yacht’s name is and that’d be good enough to keep force india running for 2-4 years.

      Also let us not forget force India is 48% owned by Sahara Group. That company’s promoter will be able to save Force India any day if the need arises.

      Force india will be there for a while, this is an ego jewel for Mallya and there’s no way he’s going to let anything happen to it.

      1. jimscreechy (@)
        13th January 2013, 8:46

        Uh huh…

        1. Don’t know what that uh huh meant, but suit yourself :). Only time will tell who’s right.

      2. @ideepak
        I agree. Compared to Mallya’s liqueur empire his airline problems doesn’t seem like the end of the world really. I don’t think there is any reason to worry for Force India.

        1. jimscreechy (@)
          13th January 2013, 18:28

          Well, his Liquor ’empire’ like his airline was also struggling under a mountain of debt until fairly recently when another company required a majority holdiing in it. He just seems to be juggling debts like Robert Maxwell.

      3. Nick Jarvis (@)
        13th January 2013, 13:00

        Will 50 million be enough to mean their car is as competitive as it was at Brazil? will they be almost equal with the Lotus now?

        1. @nickj95gb
          Money don’t make a car fast, but its needed in order to make a fast car.
          Toyota proved that you can have all the money in the world and make one bad car after the other.
          So no, I don’t think it will. That will depend a lot more on the people working in the design office.

  9. Well, Bianchi’s car at the Desafio das Estrelas looked very Force Indian… http://flaviogomes.warmup.com.br/2013/01/one-question-92/

    1. He IS a Force India test driver after all.

  10. What could be taking so long!

    Forget Sutil…. He had his chance.

    On to Bianchi ! f1 needs more young Turks!

  11. Sad to hear Guido Forti has died. I have always found it a shame that the team never actually had a chance to prove themselves – they basically got screwed by investers. Sad thing is that in their first year, there was loads of money but a bad car. In their second year, the car was actually not that bad, but there was no more money.

  12. everyone took di Restas seat at Force India for granted, and to be honest, the real surprise would be a totally new lineup at the team. I believe that he is considering his FI years as a temporary soultion, gaining experience while he could join to either Mercedes or McLaren (as long as it is powered with Mercedes engines), but if you can sign Hamilton, you won’t obviously choose di Resta. he showed a lot of potential in the previous two years, and an unexpected maturity since his debut, and matched his teammates, although Sutil and Hülkenberg had the upper hand for the second half of the seasons. if FI has no financial issues, I don’t see any reason getting rid of him.

    the Kovalainen issue is very strange. as mentioned before, he wasn’t really ready for a top team as early as in his second season. I don’t think it was a complete failure, but I’m sure that he would be more competitive now at McLaren. 2008 and 2009 damaged a bit his reputation though, and it looked like that Caterham (Lotus) threw him a life line, keeping his F1 career alive. but during these 3 years, slowly but surely he became better and better. last year he completley destroyed Jarno Trulli who was considered an extremely good qualifier, but he looked like a rookie alongside Kovalainen. When the conditions were tricky, he used to be the one marching into Q2, and hunting for the 1 point worth 10th place in the race, however he never achieved that. his almost invisible to truley present improvement stopped at somewhere the season half in 2012, when rumours appeared about his uncertain future at the team, but that time – due to financial reasons. we don’t know how the conditions have changed, how his relation to the team has changed, but since then his performance dropped to the level, if not below of Petrov, and we heard about him rather from the news commenting his situation rather than from his excellent performances. maybe that’s what Gascoyne mentioned, a professional driver should give the maximum even if his future is unsure, and that’s what not surely happened in the last half year. However, a driver with his age, spending three years in a rookie team, helping it to catch the midfield should be worried about his future, and his team also should show a bit of respect, but we all know it won’t, because it’s business. I still beleive that Kovalainen is a worthy driver, and should be able to grab a seat, maybe at Force India, maybe as a test driver at a top team, but I would be disappointed if he would be wasted.

    the Button thing. am I the only one that thinks that Button could not have been considered as a team leader at Brawn back in 2009? of course the advantage was granted for him sometimes against Barrichello, but he did never build up a situation like Alonso has at Ferrari, however, with his experience and skills, with a younger teammate on his side, now he would be able to do so.

  13. Di Resta is surely in danger of being one of the most over-hyped drivers in F1 history unless he performs this year. When he first came on the scene he was pretty much saying he was better than Vettel as he beat him in a lower formula, yet he’s been beaten by both his team mates over the last 2 seasons. The other gripe i have with Di Resta which is similar to the Kovalinen story is that he seems to have been talking about wanting to join one of the big teams ever since he sat down in a FI. If i was running the FI team i’d want to hear him talking about how he’s going to take them to the next level, not how he’s going to take himself to the next level. If Di Resta doesn’t step up to the challenge this season i don’t think we’ll see him in a F1 car again.

    1. @davidwhite

      If i was running the FI team i’d want to hear him talking about how he’s going to take them to the next level, not how he’s going to take himself to the next level.

      I couldn’t have put that better myself. I know that drivers want to strive for the best, but I think that talking up the idea of moving onto bigger and better things like that is a bit of a slap in the face for the team. That said, I dispute the idea that di Resta was ever a serious contender for a front-running team. He likes to talk about how he narrowly missed out on a seat at McLaren (and has implied more than once that they took Sergio Perez because he is “more marketable”), but comments from Martin Whitmarsh and McLaren during and after the negotiations with Lewis Hamilton suggest that McLaren wanted to keep Hamilton, with Perez being their second choice and Nico Hulkenberg their third. That makes Paul di Resta the fourth-best choice for McLaren, which is hardly something to be proud of.

    2. Yesterday di Resta actually said that his team mate should be a team player and should not have only his own ambitions in the mind.

      That said, I’m quite sure that every midfield team, let alone backmarker team, know very well that their drivers will leave them to join the big guys at the first opportunity. It’s clear that Force India will not be able to fight for the world championship in the foreseeable future and it’s actually unlikely that it will ever reach that level. And no driver can take them there, not even Alonso could. The same goes for Caterham, with the difference that even their ability to score regular points over the next few years is questionable.

      Luca di Montezemolo can talk about the team spirit all he wants, I believe that every driver in F1 puts himself first.

      1. Yesterday di Resta actually said that his team mate should be a team player and should not have only his own ambitions in the mind.

        This is the same di Resta that also said he is looking for a team to join in 2014, right?

  14. It’s possible that Kovalainen’s management are not up to the job. This is not the 1st time when they receive criticism from Caterham (Fernandes said the same thing last year). I cannot know what happens behind the scenes but I believe they don’t use Kovalainen’s marketing potential effectively enough.

    That said, I don’t see how one can say that Kovalainen himself has the wrong attitude. There is a new interview with him on Autosport (subscription required), where he says that “the team has been trying very hard to find a solution for me to stay, and I appreciate that.” He adds that “if [replacing him with a pay driver] is what it takes for them to survive, then they’ve got to do it.”

    It’s understandable why he doesn’t want to beg for sponsorship just to stay in F1 with one of the worst teams because that’s not a long-term solution for a high class F1 driver.

    Caterham also need to take some responsibility for the current situation themselves. They haven’t been able to manage the expectations well and they clearly failed to meet their aims this year. Fernandes used to talk about his love for the Lotus name and its history and racing so much but where is he now? And there were plans to be in the midfield and to score points but now it’s all forgotten and Gascoyne is making excuses and saying that “Maintaining our position as a tenth place team will be the priority”.

  15. Sounds like Hekki lost his seat.

  16. Surprised by the Kovalainen news and couldn’t agree more with Parr.

  17. This interested me from the Stewart article:

    With stability in the regulations from last season through to the forthcoming campaign that starts on March 17 in Australia, Stewart fears Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel will make it four titles in a row.
    Asked whether they would dominate again, Stewart said: ‘There’s a big risk of that happening.

    I was confused as to why, unless they were relating it to Button’s title challenge hopes, they would “fear” Vettel would win a fourth title. Although granted this is from the same man that said Vettel is “not a great yet”; whilst I can see where he’s coming from with those particular comments I feel it shows that he isn’t Vettel’s number 1 fan. If he is wishing to show impartiality though then I feel he shouldn’t say there is a “risk” of Vettel and Red Bull winning again.

    1. Stewart never wishes to show impartiality. I suggest we leave him be. ;)

      1. @vfftw – as a fellow national I like the guy and I respect him immensely both as a driver and for his safety campaign, which has likely saved many drivers lives, but he does make an awful lot of biased or senseless comments. Perhaps it’s his age! ;)

        1. I think, Max, that he is talking about fans or potential fans of other drivers/teams getting bored if RBR appear unbeatable, and leaving F1 fandom as was supposed to have happened when MS and Ferrari dominated.
          I say good riddance if they have such a short attention span and such a partisan viewpoint.

          1. @hohum – indeed but I feel there is a definite distinction between Ferrari in the early 2000’s and Red Bull now: it was pretty much a foregone conclusion before the race began usually in the period of Ferrari dominance that Schumacher would win comfortably, so it was a surprise when he didn’t. On the other hand, the grid is incredibly competitive now and you’d be a brave person to have bet on who would win the title or indeed the next race at the start of last season. Sure, 2011 was rather more predictable but again Vettel looked as if he had to (and did) fight for his victories on many occasions for example in Spain, although in qualifying not so much.

            I can totally see from a casual fans perspective why it may appear on face value that Red Bull are dominating and so Jackie Stewarts comments make sense in that respect but if we delve deeper we can see that it isn’t at all a formality that Red Bull will win next year.

            So from my perspective anyway it’s nothing to fear, as likely we’ll have some fanatstic racing in the process!

  18. I think the delay is because Force India does not know if they are going racing this year because of Mallya financial problems

    1. @ean
      I think they will have much bigger problems then some driver contracts if they don’t have the money to continue.
      Maybe the sponsorship deals are just taking their time, and they don’t want to sign whichever rich rookie they have found before the sponsorship deals are in place.

  19. Unrelated to all the roundup… was just killing some time and went onto google street view of albert park, melbourne. It uses shots from both during 2009 w/e and from a time when the F1 circus is not in town. I found it fascinating, so its worth a look to see if you can remember your way around!

  20. Mallya’s financial situation is getting worse. He has not paid the salary to his 4000 airline employees from last 7 seven months. His private jet confiscated. I failed to understand what is the point in putting his money in F1, if he invests same money in his airline then many families will live happily.

  21. Here’s a question for mike Gascoyne: if he admits the f1 team have underperformed, why did he move out of it after 18 months?

    As employee #1 surely he was the linchpin of the whole operation?

  22. Michael Brown (@)
    15th January 2013, 13:30

    Two things:
    First, Di Resta keeps talking as if he’s got the seat at Force India. But the fact is he doesn’t.

    Second, his comments that his teammate needs to be a team player suggests he is trying to assert himself in an Alonso-style role, but he’s never given performances like Hülkenburg and Pérez have.

    He’s good enough for an F1 seat, but he’s not the next star of F1.

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