Apr 27, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT
Force India’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley has said that he believes Paul di Resta has got what it takes to become Formula One world champion.
di Resta’s F1 career has been rather quiet so far, but his fourth place finish at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix has been regarded by many as the British driver’s best performance in the sport. Off the back of this, Fernley has heaped praise upon his driver.
“Absolutely, there is no reason why he and a number of others would not have as well, but certainly Paul could,” Fernley told Sky Sports when asked whether di Resta could be a world champion. However, he extended this to many other drivers on the grid, suggesting that it is largely down to the car which teams provide their drivers with.
“Probably at least fifty per cent of the drivers on the grid today, given the right car and package, would be a world champion, because they are some quality drivers.”
Fernley also spoke about the inter-team rivalry at Force India, which nearly spilled over in China as di Resta made contact with teammate Adrian Sutil. Regardless, Fernley believes that it is a good thing to have this kind of competition.
“It is the perfect scenario for us.
“In 2011 when Paul and Adrian were fighting each other, it was equally close, but what we wanted to do was keep the pressure on Paul actually because each driver needs to be performing at their limit. They need to give us quite a tough time and we have to set it up that they are having a tough time.”
Force India has made its best start to a Formula One season in 2013, scoring 26 points in the first four races, and di Resta currently sits a strong 8th in the drivers’ championship. If he can keep up this good form, the Scot could be in line for a seat with a bigger team in the future.