Sir Jackie Stewart believes Paul Di Resta’s best chance of progression up the Formula One ranks could lie at Ferrari.
The Scottish driver is currently tenth in the standings after four races in the 2012 season, having secured his joint best career finish in coming sixth at the recent Bahrain Grand Prix.
“It's more difficult at the moment because there is a galaxy of talent,” Sir Jackie said of the prospect of the Force India driver securing a better drive in the future.
“The most likely gap there is going to be is at Ferrari. If [Felipe] Massa doesn't improve his performance, then I think they have to drop him.
“I think you'll find most of the other top drivers have already got themselves contract commitments that are beyond one year.
“So therefore, there's not a lot of people out there capable of taking up a drive unless they break the contract or they are bought out.
“Paul Di Resta would be a very good target for Ferrari. Alonso has probably got the best toolkit of knowledge, mind and physically [of any] racing driver in the world today.
“[Sebastian] Vettel is fantastic but he's still going to be developed than he is today. Alonso is almost at his peak and to have a young driver come in and understudy Alonso, if I were at Ferrari that would be a big consideration for me.”
While Di Resta may be handicapped by the limitations of his current car, compared to those of their big spending rivals, Stewart believes the Bathgate-born racer must simply demonstrate his talent within the parameters set down.
“Even for Force India between the Grand Prix in Bahrain and in Spain for the Barcelona race, there will probably be four or five major changes in the car,” he said.
“Likewise, every other team is going to be in the same position. There are certain gateways of time every season to make major changes. We are at one just now.
“I think they don't have the resources of Red Bull, McLaren or Ferrari. Few teams have that.
“Paul has to show himself to be faster than his own team-mate because he's the only man driving the same car, with the same tyres and the same engine.
“He has to consistently beat his team-mate but do it in a manner that allows him to be recognised not to be foolhardy, not to be too hot under the collar - to do it with consistency and be able to deliver.
“To finish first, first you must finish. Even if you are not going to win the race with the Force India car unless there are unusual circumstances, if you are beating other cars that are perceived to be better, more heavily financed and so forth, that's where you make your name.”
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