There's no official prize for the best rookie in Formula 1, but by any measure Paul di Resta would have been a worthy winner in 2011. Sergio Perez had some strong races, but di Resta scored more points than the Mexican and finished a solid 13th in the world championship. He made the top 10 on eight occasions, and kept his far more experienced team-mate Adrian Sutil on his toes.
In many later races the two Force Indias ran split strategies in order to cover any threat from Sauber or Toro Rosso - close rivals in the constructors' championship. On occasion di Resta drew the short straw, so his final points tally could have looked even better.
Still, he was acknowledged by readers of this website with the Rookie of the Year prize at the AUTOSPORT Awards. He's certainly done more than enough to secure a place at Force India for 2012 and, while the team has yet to formally confirm its driver line-up, you'd probably get long odds on it containing two Germans and no Scots.
"Looking back at the year you can say it was reasonably positive," says di Resta. "There have been highs and lows - given how long the season is it's going to be like that. There were times when we didn't maximise it, and there were times when I've made mistakes or the team's made mistakes.
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