Force India team owner Vijay Mallya has made his intentions clear in wanting to hang onto rookie driver Paul di Resta beyond the end of this year.
Di Resta, a Mercedes-Benz protégé and reigning DTM champion with the marque, has enjoyed an impressive maiden season in Formula 1, regularly out-qualifying his more experienced team-mate Adrian Sutil.
But the Scot retains strong links with the manufacturer who propelled him into F1 – Force India received massive discounts to its Mercedes engine supply costs by taking him on – and there exists speculation that the 25-year-old will be slotted into the works Mercedes GP team alongside Nico Rosberg when Michael Schumacher calls time on his comeback to the sport.
However, Mallya – a man not known for respecting contracts, it must be added – insists that he has di Resta under lock and key with respect to the Scot’s future at the Silverstone-based team.
“I haven’t put Paul in the car without having clear options going forward, and he is also very, very happy in this environment and in this team,” he told reporters during the British Grand Prix.
“I would be foolish to let go of a star, so we’ll talk later in the year, but I feel the odds are more in favour of Paul remaining with Force India.
“When I first signed him up I told him we wanted a commitment which he was happy to give, and so I was happy to give him a break,” he added.
[Image via The Cahier Archive]