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Di Resta willing to start F1 career from the back.

Paul di Resta has admitted that he is so keen to make his Formula 1 debut next year that he would be willing to do so with a back-of-the-grid team – something many in the paddock believe is a distinct possibility.

The Scot's name has been increasingly linked in recent weeks to a berth at Force India – likely in place of Adrian Sutil – in a deal that would also see the Silverstone-based minnows supplied with Mercedes-Benz engines and McLaren KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology.

The rumours then dictate that after a year spent learning both the ropes and new circuits out of the spotlight, di Resta could graduate to McLaren-Mercedes in 2010 alongside fellow former F3 Euroseries champion Lewis Hamilton.

It has already been hinted that the world champion-elect's current team-mate Heikki Kovalainen is not altogether happy with his 'support role' at Woking [see separate story – click here], and Mercedes Young Driver Development Programme member di Resta has spent four days this month testing for the Silver Arrows.

"I certainly feel privileged and fortunate to be involved with two of the most respected names in world motorsport – Mercedes and McLaren," the 22-year-old told the Edinburgh Evening News. "My development with them has been excellent, but will I go to Formula 1? Well, that's certainly where I want to see myself eventually.

"As a young racing driver back in the days of my karting, that's always been my ultimate goal. You always want to reach the highest level in any profession, and in motorsport it's Formula 1. That's where I want to be."

Moreover, when pressed about whether he would be willing to accept making his bow in a less competitive team, the 2005 McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year was unequivocal.

"Yes," he replied. "I don't see why not. I spent my first year in the DTM last season driving a two-year-old car, but not only did I learn the circuits and how everything behind-the-scenes worked, I finished on the podium and led the championship at one stage.

"Now I'm on the brink of winning the title. I don't see why I shouldn't follow the same route into Formula 1."

Should the West Lothian ace indeed graduate to the top flight, he would do so just as fellow Scot David Coulthard is walking away, and not only that but he would be fulfilling a goal that cousin Dario Franchitti never managed to achieve.

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SUNNY STIVALA - Unregistered

October 25, 2008 1:12 PM

IT should not be hard for him to get into F1 I read somewere that he said S.V beat him only once [1] in [19]races what he did not say is how many times he beat S.V IN [19] RACES

Sarah L

October 25, 2008 1:39 PM

I'm guessing, 18... He deserves a lot better than a Force India. A year in GP2 would be ideal i think, get him back into the swing of single seaters. Hopefully by then Heikki will be shown the door and Paul will get the seat he does deserves in a decent car. I can't see him going anywhere else other than McLaren.

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