Paul di Resta has acknowledged that rumours linking him to a possible McLaren ride this season had an element of truth to them, even though the Woking squad eventually opted for Sergio Perez as Jenson Button's team-mate.
Appearing on stage at the Autosport International
exhibition in the UK at the weekend, the Scot confirmed that there had been interest from McLaren, which shares a common engine supplier with his current employer, Force India. With Lewis Hamilton moving on to Mercedes for 2013, numerous contenders were linked to the seat alongside Button, including di Resta, Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren old boy Heikki Kovalainen, before Ferrari protégé Perez waltzed into the reckoning after strong performances for Sauber in Malaysia, Canada and Italy.
"I'm not going to give away too much but, yes, there were discussions," di Resta said of his dealings with McLaren, "I've got a great relationship with [the team] and Martin Whitmarsh was actually the key person who put my name forward for Force India. I've also been part of Mercedes-Benz for a lot of years [having won the F3 Euroseries and DTM titles with the manufacturer] but, for whatever reasons, they took the decision not to put me in the car.”
Despite the setback, and a shaky end to 2013, the 26-year old is also confident that 2012 will not be his last dealings with the Woking-based team – or any other that may come calling this year.
"Our paths may cross,” he smiled, “It may be in a car that's beating them and I'll have the last laugh, but, if I've got to work with them, they're professional people and they win races, and that's what I'm in the sport to do.
"The biggest thing is to get the results and keep yourself in the team's minds. Having a good relationship with them is key, and I have that up and down the paddock. Unfortunately, there's a little bit more to [getting a seat], as there's a commercial side and money's tight. Without begging for a job, you've just got to be in their face at the right time."