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F1 Driver Review: Paul di Resta

Dec 18, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT

Force India Formula One driver Paul di Resta of Britain reacts in the garage during the first practice session of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit outside Kuala Lumpur Reuters

After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.

Claiming 12th and currently facing an uncertain future in Formula One is Paul di Resta…

PAUL DI RESTA

No. 14 Force India-Mercedes
2013 Stats: 12th Place, 0 Wins, 0 Podiums, 1 Top-5, 9 Top-10s, 3 Laps Led
Average Start: 12.9
Average Finish: 12.5
DNFs: 6

DiZinno says: Di Resta has had roughly the opposite type seasons as Nico Hulkenberg, his 2012 teammate at Force India. The Scot traditionally starts strong but falters as the year goes on, and the pressure of grabbing the midfield points for the Constructor’s Championship mounts. That doesn’t look great to prospective employers, unfortunately. He was made to look worse than he was by Hulkenberg the tail end of last year and Adrian Sutil this year presented a similar measuring stick. Di Resta, as he did in his rookie year when paired alongside Sutil, compared favorably and once again had his moments of brilliance – the first stint at Canada stands out. Sutil may not be considered a “pay driver” but does have some budget to bring, and perhaps that’s why he’s at Sauber instead of the driver who outperformed him in 2013.

Estrada says: With no major financial backing to bring with him, 2013 may have been the last season of di Resta’s F1 career after he was dropped recently by Force India. He had a pretty good year going in the first half with seven Top-10s in the first eight races, including a great drive to fourth in Bahrain. But when the team faltered in mid-season, the Scotsman went down too and suffered a horrendous streak of five consecutive DNFs from Hungary to Korea. Di Resta bounced back with points-paying efforts in India (eighth) and Abu Dhabi (sixth) that helped the team hang on to sixth in the constructors’ championship. Unfortunately for him, that and outperforming Adrian Sutil weren’t enough to keep Vijay Mallya from giving him a pink slip. Now the question is whether he can land another F1 seat or if he’ll have to take his career elsewhere.