2011 Rookie of the Year: Paul di Resta
30 December, 2011
Dec.30 (Grand Prix 247) The route to Formula 1 by Paul di Resta was unconventional to say the least, as unlike his contemporaries he graduated through DTM series to Force India and when he arrived on the big stage delivered one of the most impressive rookie performances of recent times.
Mercedes always believed in Di Resta and when the Scot, after a spectacular career in Formula 3 and junior formulae, was forced to drive in the German tin top series instead of making the tried and tested step to a more powerful single seater category. Di Resta did not have the budget, but Mercedes gave him the DTM option which he seized, maximised, became champion and knocked down the back door to get into F1 – the rest is history.
Managed by Anthony Hamilton (father of Lewis) the Scot hardly put a foot wrong on track and off track in 2011, as it became blatant that the driver who beat Sebastian Vettel in F3 was made for Formula 1.
In a tough era for rookies Di Resta has certainly made his mark in a significant manner, to the point that Mercedes still back him at Force India and it will be no surprise if the Silver Arrows management are merely grooming him for their Mercedes GP team when Michael Schumacher finally hangs up his helmet…