Anthony Hamilton has backed Paul di Resta to become a world championship winner during his time in Formula One, with the Scot having shown the potential to succeed en-route to the top.
Di Resta joined the grid at the start of the season having secured the DTM title last season, with a series of impressive Friday practice outings with Force India being good enough to earn him a race seat, with Tonio Liuzzi being ousted despite having a contract in place to allow the Scot to take his chance.
Having scored points in his first two races, di Resta entered into a barren run of form but goes into the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend on the back of three top-ten finishes in the last four races, including a fine sixth place under lights in Singapore.
His performances have drawn plaudits throughout the paddock, with many suggesting he could be a long-term replacement for Michael Schumacher at Mercedes thanks to his links with the manufacturer from the DTM, and Hamilton – who acts as his manager – insisted that di Resta had what it takes to go all the way to the top.
"I'm extremely proud of Paul, he's so level-headed," he told the Independent
. "Yes, he's quiet, but it's what you do on the track that's most important. That's what is most important for keeping your job in F1. There is the constant threat of other drivers with huge budgets, so a driver who is in a team on merit, such as Paul, can lose his seat if he says the wrong things or doesn't perform. The key for him is to say little, but deliver big.
"Once you have established more of a long-term career you can open yourself up a little more. Right now, Paul is in that position where you just have to keep yourself to yourself, keep your head down, and do the job on the track.
“Paul has been a champion at every level he's raced at: karting, Formula Three and DTM. Paul's junior category CV is more substantial than Sebastian's [Vettel] in some ways, and I expect him to do the same in F1. I believe that in him we are looking at a future world champion."