Paul di Resta has received two votes of confidence as he endeavours to find a way onto the grand prix grid in F1 2011 – with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti describing him as 'an exceptional driver', and Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug acknowledging that the highly-rated Scot has a 'good chance' of joining the fray.
di Resta is presently doing battle for the laurels in the pan-European DTM touring car series, and is the man in-form off the back of consecutive triumphs for Mercedes-Benz at Brands Hatch and Oschersleben this month. The 24-year-old is also employed by Mercedes-powered Force India F1 as test and reserve driver – and has consequently made several Friday practice appearances on grand prix weekends this year – and he has been linked to replacing Vitantonio Liuzzi at the Silverstone-based squad in 2011.
“I think his chances for an F1 seat are good,” Haug told racexpress.nl
. “Of course I hope he stays with us, but I also know he has to take the opportunity when it arises. I would absolutely support him in that.”
Meanwhile, di Resta's cousin Franchitti – who attended the recent Italian Grand Prix at Monza – has professed his opinion that his compatriot is now ready to make the graduation to a full-time race seat in the top flight.
“I've been very closely involved in Paul's career since day one,” revealed the defending IndyCar Series Champion and current title contender. “He's my cousin and I've supported him, I've sponsored him and given him advice.
“I really do believe he's an exceptional driver; we've seen that by the way he's doing the Fridays with Force India and he does it in the DTM car too – plus he did it in F3, when he and Sebastian Vettel were team-mates and he won. I think he deserves that chance, and I really hope he gets it. He's bloody good and really great to watch, so hopefully he'll get the chance to really show people what he can do.”