In 2011 there are four rookies on the Formula 1 grid. Today we look at one of them, Paul Di Resta.
Name: Paul Di Resta
Born: 16 April 1986, Livingston, Scotland
F1 team: Force India - Mercedes
Began karting at the age of 7 and racing from 1994 to 2002, winning the British JICA Championship in 2001
British Formula Renault in 2003, finishing the championship in 7th
British Formula Renault in 2004, finishing the championship in 3rd
Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup in 2004, competing in 3 races with a best finish of 3rd
Bahrain Superprix in 2004, retiring after 10 laps
Formula 3 Euroseries in 2005 with Manor Motorsport, finishing the championship in 10th
Masters of Formula 3 in 2005 with Manor Motorsport, finishing 4th
Formula 3 Euroseries in 2006 with ASM Formule 3, finishing the championship in 1st
Masters of Formula 3 in 2006 with ASM Formule 3, finishing 1st
Macau Grand Prix in 2006 with ASM Formule 3, DNF
DTM in 2007 with Persson Motorsport, finishing the championship in 5th
DTM in 2008 with HWA Team, finishing the championship in 2nd
DTM in 2009 with HWA Team, finishing the championship in 3rd
DTM in 2010 with HWA Team, finishing the championship in 1st
Formula 1 test driver in 2010 with Force India
Much has been made about his racing cousins Dario Franchitti and Marino Franchitti, but this means nothing other than a vaguely interesting fact. Infinitely more interesting is that Paul took a different path to most by moving out of single-seaters and into sedans (DTM) in order to progress his career. While for most people this would be a career limiting move, for some it pays off. Michael Schumacher spent some time in sportscars before moving to F1, as did Mark Webber. Di Resta's success in both single seaters and tin-tops demonstrates his ability to adapt to different styles of racing, and this can only assist in his F1 career. As far as his racing style goes, he is a clean, fast racer with no obvious deficits.
After running in eight of the 19 Friday practice sessions in 2010 for the Force India Formula 1 team, and proving his pace against team mates Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi, Di Resta has the weightiest expectations than any of the other rookies in 2011. Given that the Force India is a solid points winning car, Di Resta should be expected to follow his team mate, Adrian Sutil, home at most of the 2011 grands prix. This should convert to a nice points collection during the year, probably in the range of 20 to 25 points.