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Di Resta playing catch-up

ESPNF1 Staff
August 16, 2011 « Toro Rosso evaluating drivers | »
Paul di Resta has impressed during his debut season so far, with a best finish of seventh place © Sutton Images
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Paul di Resta feels that he is playing catch-up with his former F3 rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton having only made his Formula One debut this season.

Di Resta beat Vettel to the F3 Euroseries title in 2006, with Hamilton having won the championship in the previous year. From that point, however, Di Resta's career has taken a different path to both Hamilton and Vettel, as he was offered a paid seat with Mercedes in DTM for 2007. Di Resta told Autosprint that he wanted to remain in single seaters, but that the obvious progression to GP2 was an impossible move for him.

"I took some time to think about it (Mercedes' offer), because I really wanted to stay in single seaters," Di Resta said. "But I also had a significant problem. I did a test in a GP2 car and it was simply too small for me. I changed seats three times but it was a nightmare. I decided that the chance to do DTM was the best choice, but I never stopped thinking I would get to formula one some day. But I knew it was vital to keep myself visible, so I had to win."

Di Resta did win, taking the 2010 title after finishing fifth, third and second in the previous seasons. During the same time, however, both Hamilton and Vettel had won a Formula One World Championship, and Di Resta admits he's now trying to secure a top drive to challenge for the title in future.

"In my F3 team there were four of us: me, Vettel, Kobayashi and van der Garde. I have to say that when he got to F1, Sebastian did an incredible job, capitalising on what he had in the best way. Perhaps he would have done the same thing if he had been in my place in DTM, maybe not. It's also true that I can't say what I would have done if I had had his chances.

"The same thing happened with Hamilton, he was a good driver in the minor categories, and when he arrived with a great team straight away it was natural that he did a good job. Sebastian and Lewis were able to get what I'm trying to get now."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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