Bob Fernley says Force India will not stop Paul Di Resta moving to another team
Scottish driver attracting attention from Force India's rivals
By William Esler. Last Updated: 26/06/13 12:55pm
Bob Fernley: Says Paul Di Resta can leave the team if he wants
Force India have promised Paul Di Resta that he can leave if approached by one of the bigger Formula 1 teams.
The Scot has put in a number of impressive performances thus far in 2013, scoring points in every race he has finished and is currently eighth in the Drivers' Championship. His tally of 34 points is exactly double that of team-mate Adrian Sutil.
Di Resta has a deal with Force India to stay with the team in 2014, but with potential vacancies at Red Bull and Lotus, Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley says they will not stop him leaving.
"Paul is contracted to us anyway for next season, so the question is whether somebody else comes in, so it won't be our decision," Fernley said.
"Whether Paul has to be released, or whatever, that can only come from him. But we wouldn't stand in his way. That's not our policy. If a driver feels he is better somewhere else, what would be the point in keeping him?
"We proved that at the end of last year with Nico Hulkenberg (who joined Sauber). Did we want to lose Nico? Not at all.
"He was a great member of our team, but we didn't get in the way of that particular move.
"We then proved by bringing in Adrian (Sutil) we are capable of recovering from such a situation and carrying on as normal.
"Maybe Nico is asking a few questions himself today, although last year it didn't look such a bad option."
Fernley added that he is hopeful the team can maintain their early season form which has seen them leap ahead of McLaren in the Constructors' Championship.
"I don't think we should be frightened of anything," added Fernley.
"We've been on every variation of track over the seven races so far and we've performed well at all of them.
"I think we can hold our top-10 qualifying position - assuming we can get that bit right - and it will all fall out in the race again.
"But we are genuinely the fifth quickest team out there at the moment. I don't think there is any doubt about that."