Rookie of the Year: Paul di Resta
The season brought another clutch of unobtrusive baptisms, although comparing the arrivals of Di Resta, Sergio Perez, Maldonado, Jerome d'Ambrosio and Daniel Ricciardo to the stellar ones of Vettel and, in particular, Hamilton is not entirely fair.
None of the fivesome (Ricciardo only completed a part season) appeared out of his depth, although Di Resta and Perez caught the eye the most - if for no other reason than they were in the best machinery.
Perez would have finished seventh in his very first race were it not for the fact the rear wing of his Sauber broke the rules. The 21-year-old Mexican had the speed to match Kamui Kobayashi (they were equals in qualifying) but without his team-mate's adventurousness. Whatever one thinks of the Japanese driver's approach, though, it yielded more points than that of Perez.
Experience also won out at Force India, where Adrian Sutil bested Di Resta - and just shaded him in terms of qualifying pace too. When comparing the benchmarks, however, it should be remembered that Sutil was contesting his fifth full season - all with the same team - whereas Kobayashi's was just his second.
And we should also bear in mind that, while Di Resta took part in a number of free practice sessions last season, he had spent the four previous seasons concentrating on the German DTM series - a rather different discipline than single seater racing.
Di Resta is staying put next season and assuming Schumacher does indeed call it a day for a second time at the end of 2012, then another good year, not to mention the long-time backing of Mercedes-Benz, will place the 25-year-old Scot right in the frame for a move. - Sporting Life - Sports News | Live Football Scores, Live Racing Results, Football Transfer News
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