Paul di Resta is off to the courts after his former manager Anthony Hamilton, father of McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, launched legal proceedings against the Scot at London’s High Court.
Hamilton was credited as an instrumental figure in getting di Resta into a Formula 1 race seat at the start of last year. Di Resta had spent the 2010 season as Force India’s reserve driver in the same year that he won the DTM championship title with Mercedes.
He was promoted to Force India’s race line-up for the 2011 season, and has widely been touted as a likely candidate to move to Mercedes’ works team when Michael Schumacher elects to retire.
News broke in the days before the British Grand Prix that Hamilton Sr and di Resta had parted ways, and while neither party was prepared to go on the record as to the reasons for the sudden break-up, although there were suggestions – which have now proven to be true – that the split was far from amicable.
Hamilton’s suit is for “wrongful termination of contract and loss of earnings”, according to papers filed at London’s High Court, where the hearing will take place on Monday.
The dispute appears to centre around a sponsorship deal that Hamilton had helped broker with the Go Fast energy drink group.
As the story goes, Hamilton had purchased di Resta’s sponsorship rights from Force India and allegedly informed his client that the deal was worth €2 million, when in fact the deal was worth half that amount – a fact that di Resta discovered during the Chinese Grand Prix weekend. It was this point where it is believed that di Resta split with Hamilton.
Hamilton has been noticeable by his absence in the F1 paddock since the race at Shanghai, and made his first race appearance last weekend at Hungary in support of his son Lewis, who went on to win the race (pictured above left).