Fellow Scot David Coulthard thinks Paul di Resta could still be a contender for a top seat in 2012.
Coulthard, the former long-time McLaren driver, believes his former team “looked at” Force India’s di Resta as a possible replacement for the departing Lewis Hamilton. But even though McLaren made much of their all-British driver pairing of Hamilton alongside Jenson Button since 2010, Coulthard thinks di Resta’s nationality actually played against him.
“My feeling is they (McLaren) had shaken the British tree as much as they could sponsor-wise and Perez, quite apart from his undoubted ability behind a wheel, offered something different in that respect,” he wrote in a column for the Telegraph.
Coulthard is probably referring to rumours Sergio Perez – Hamilton’s actual 2013 successor – could eventually bring his backer Telmex and other Mexican pesos to McLaren to replace wavering title sponsor Vodafone. McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh confirmed di Resta was considered for the seat.
“I know Paul very well and the true answer is that I rate him but it would probably have been continuing a little bit too much with the British theme to have gone that route,” he said.
But what about Ferrari? Even though Felipe Massa seems set for another season in red, Coulthard thinks di Resta is still a contender.
“Why not?” he said. “I’m biased but I feel Paul is the obvious choice.”