Top 10 F1 Drivers of the Year 2011:
Paul di Resta
Force India F1
Force India-Mercedes VJM04
2010 DTM champion Paul di Resta finally got his full-time F1 break with Force India, and showed what an advantage a year of running in Friday free practice could offer.
Remaining with the Silverstone-based team for his graduation, the Scot started strongly, with points in his first two outings, but then found himself dicing for anywhere between ninth and 14th as Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso went at it.
Despite that, he matched experienced team-mate Adrian Sutil in qualifying and scored just 15 points fewer than the German in an assured debut campaign for the latest Briton to make the top flight. His best result came in Singapore, where he finished sixth, and he backed that up with seventh in Hungary and eighth in Italy in a strong late-season spell. Made the top ten shoot-out on several occasions, and only lost the qualifying battle to Sutil when the German snatched the better grid slot at the Interlagos finale.
Despite suggestions that he was being groomed to replace Michael Schumacher at Mercedes, di Resta will remain with Force India, alongside Nico Hulkenberg, in 2012, when he will be charged with at least keeping the team in sixth place in the F1 pecking order.
F1 Driver of the Year Top 10:
5. Nico Rosberg
6. Michael Schumacher
7. Mark Webber
8. Heikki Kovalainen
9. Kamui Kobayashi
10. Adrian Sutil