Triple IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti says he has no doubts that cousin Paul di Resta will make an impression when he joins the F1 grid this season.

The Scot will race alongside Adrian Sutil at Force India after being promoted from his role as test and reserve driver last year, having dovetailed his F1 commitments with a title-winning campaign in the DTM.

Di Resta goes into the new season highly-rated after his success elsewhere, and Franchitti said he had now doubt that the 24-year-old will be a success.

"I'm confident he will do the job," he told the BBC. "Now he is there, he can build on foundations, improve the car, beat his team-mate, move up the grid, all of those things.

"I was thrilled for him when I heard he had got the nod. "I'm just really proud of him. He's worked hard for it, but in some ways the hard work now begins. It's going to be hard work, but he has all the attributes to do it."

Franchitti added that he was hopeful that di Resta would be given a chance to show what he is capable of in the new Force India, which undergoes its second pre-season test this weekend in Barcelona.

"He'll let his driving do the talking," Franchitti said. "He has a tremendous amount of talent and he's a very smart guy, which is key to Formula 1.

"Everybody in F1 has a gift to a certain degree, but he has an intelligence too - and determination. I hope we're going to see him really get a chance to show what he has got."



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