Scots F1 ace Paul di Resta feels ready to be elevated to team leader if Sahara Force India decides to put a rookie driver alongside him in 2013.
The 26-year-old from Bathgate, surprisingly ignored by McLaren to partner Jenson Button next season, will drive for Sahara Force India for the third year in succession.
Di Resta’s current team-mate, German Nico Hulkenberg, will move to Sauber for 2013. But Sahara Force India has yet to announce who will join the Scot on the grid.
Kamui Kobayashi, Jaime Alguersuari, Sebastien Buemi, Bruno Senna and former team-mate Adrian Sutil are all being evaluated by the team, along with Italian Jules Bianchi, Sahara Force India’s reserve and test driver this season.
But whoever the team elects to sign, Di Resta has stressed he is happy to either work alongside another experienced team-mate, or take the mantle of team leader.
“I don’t mind, to be perfectly honest,” he said, referring to what kind of team-mate he would like. “It’s not my decision and it is not something I should be concerned about.
“Whatever their decision will be, will be. I feel I probably could deal with having a rookie in the team, and equally deal with someone being competitive in the team. Either way it doesn’t swing me, but as a team you want to be scoring points.”
Di Resta, who drove well in Abu Dhabi last weekend, recovering from a first-corner puncture to finish ninth, believes he has the required knowledge to lead development of a car.
“Of course I feel I have got enough experience – I have been part of this team long enough,” said the Scot, who was also linked with Mercedes and Ferrari. This is a strong midfield contender team and it is a fight, a fight every weekend to get what you can out of it.”