David Coulthard has admitted that he is impressed with the way in which fellow Scot Paul di Resta has adapted to the rigours of F1 after stepping up to a full-time race ride with Force India this season.
Although di Resta had been an integral part of the Silverstone-based team throughout 2010, carrying out third driver duties and taking part in the majority of Friday morning practice sessions in the same way as Nico Hulkenberg is this year, Coulthard believes that he has made greater strides as team-mate to Adrian Sutil than anyone can have expected.
Reigning DTM champion di Resta currently lies 16th overall in the drivers' standings, with a degree of misfortune having limited his scoring opportunities to his first two outings, in Australia and Malaysia, and a brief return to the top ten in Hungary, but is leading the more experienced Sutil 7-5 in qualifying with seven races remaining. Team boss Vijay Mallya has made no secret of his desire to keep the Scot on board next season, and Coulthard understand why.
“I'm delighted,” the former Williams and McLaren driver, who has gone in the opposite direction to his compatriot by joining the DTM, Coulthard, told the Brands Hatch website over the weekend, “I knew he was a great driver, and I hoped that he would be able to establish himself over the course of the season, but I genuinely didn't expect him to be able to do that so quickly.
“A lot depends on just how Force India progresses, and what decisions he makes on where he drives in the future, but there's no question that he has set the foundation for a good, long career in F1."