Hulkenberg, 25, was on Wednesday confirmed as a Sauber driver for the 2013 season but his Force India teammate di Resta told reporters he could not see how the move would help.
“I was surprised that Nico left this team, to be fair, for an immediate competitor,” said di Resta in Abu Dhabi ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix. “I don’t see it as being a step up, to be perfectly honest.
“I see it as an equal kind of status. Long term where you see this team is going, I think it is probably better.”
Swiss outfit Sauber is currently ahead of Force India in the standings this season but di Resta said Force India had been more consistent in its performances over past seasons. “They (Sauber) have had a couple of remarkable results and I am not going to deny that. But in terms of consistency, we have got a lot. Next year may be different and I don’t know the full reasons why Nico has gone there.”
Di Resta admitted recently that he was disappointed he had received no offers to move to a leading outfit but he said he was happy to stay at Force India.
“There is progression,” he added. “And the way this team is structured and going forward, I am content where I am.”
Nico will give his best: Mallya
Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya is expecting Nico Hulkenberg to remain totally committed to the team despite his impending exit to Sauber.
Force India are chasing Sauber for sixth position in the constructors’ championship.
It would be ironic if Hulkenberg helped Force India overhaul Sauber over the closing three races, starting in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, only for his future employers to miss out on a considerable financial windfall that would help with development in 2013 and aid his own cause. “With three races remaining this season, we know Nico will remain totally committed and continue to deliver his best performances for the team.” said Mallya.