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di Resta would be champion in right car, insists Fernley

Paul di Resta would be a front-runner in the right car, but so would 50 per cent of the grid, admits Force India's Bob Fernley.
Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley insists that there are any number of drivers currently on the F1 grid who could win the world title given the right machinery.

The Briton includes his present line-up in that list, claiming that Paul di Resta would certainly be a title contender given the opportunity to prove himself in a front-running car. di Resta, who narrowly missed out on a maiden podium at the recent Bahrain Grand Prix, was being mentioned in the same breath as potential vacancies at Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren towards the end of last season, before being passed over and finding himself back at Force India for a third term.

Despite the frustration at not being able to move himself up the grid – although, given the state of this year's McLaren, not every option would have turned out to be better than his current lot – Fernley believes that di Resta is more at peace with himself than in either of his first two years as an F1 driver.

"I think Paul is always a happy guy,” he told Sky Sports, “He is very, very demanding on himself and equally on the team and that is why he is there - we expect that to happen. But I think he is now relaxed and probably a bit more at ease with himself with it being his third year in F1 and he is starting to settle in and deliver."

Despite being reunited with former team-mate Adrian Sutil, who continues to provide a challenge as strong as Nico Hulkenberg brought in 2012, di Resta's Bahrain result allows him to hold the upper hand in terms of championship position, and Fernley believes that the Scot has responded positively to the decision not to go with an untried rookie such as Jules Bianchi.

"The idea of bringing Adrian in was that it would be as seamless as possible as to what had been happening between Paul and Nico and 2011, when Paul and Adrian were fighting each other,” he explained, “What we wanted to do was keep the pressure on Paul actually, because each driver needs to be performing at their limit. They need to give us quite a tough time and we have to set it up that they are having a tough time."

Given his performances since arriving in the top flight as DTM champion, Fernley maintains that the Scot would be a force to reckon with in a frontrunning car.

"Absolutely, you have to look at it and say probably at least 50 per cent of the drivers on the grid today, given the right car and package, would be a world champion," he said, no doubt casting an envious eye at the teams further up the pecking order, “There is no reason why he and a number of others would not have [been world champion already in a team like Red Bull]."

With McLaren struggling, Sauber not being the factor many expected and Williams struggling to build on its 2012 improvement, Force India has established itself as the biggest threat to the top four teams so far this season, but Fernley accepts that that may not last forever.

“McLaren will come back very, very hard and it will be difficult for Force India to resist their impact and their resources," he acknowledged, "I would probably be satisfied with making sure we get sixth place back, but I think there is a chance of fifth, and I know our beloved leader would love to be fifth, so I will amend [the aim] halfway through the season if that is the opportunity.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.03.2013- Race, Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM06 leads Adrian Sutil (GER), Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM06
Paul di Resta and Bob Fernley. Sahara Force India F1 VJM06 launch [Pic credit: Sahara Force India F1]
12.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM06
12.04.2013- Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM06
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1,Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM06
20.09.2014 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India
20.09.2014 - Free Practice 3, Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India
20.09.2014 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
19.09.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07

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Mikey - Unregistered

April 29, 2013 11:38 AM

I do agree that the likes of PDR and other of a similar level in the mid teams could make a success of driving for Redbull or even Ferrari. I do think they lack that extra 10% that Alonso especially and Hamilton and Vettel have to bring the results each weekend and win titles. Take Webber and Button for example whilst the Button is a different story based in statistics Webber albeit still a class driver is not making the cut compared to Vettel no matter how much Vettel finger annoys me he is still one of the three most respect and feared drivers. Which I think the likes of PDR and other don't seem to have in their blood to achieve.

rb27 - Unregistered

April 29, 2013 1:30 PM

bob: Just look at Button. Driving a crap car for years with little to no results. Gets a front running car and wins the title on his first attempt and then goes on to finish in the top 5 in the WDC ever since, with a higher average finishing position in the WDC than Hamilton. When are you going to stop posting all this JB is better than LH stuff on a daily basis its getting very tiresome now. Maybe the Willaims, BAR and Renault teams werent actually that bad maybe he just cuold not get the most out of them? Would of been interesting to see Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso in some of those cars to see how they performed.. ..Hang on didnt Renault get rid of Button for Alonso and then alonso went on to win 2 x WDC in that car!



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