As said, we have to count whole seasons, not part-seasons. Do you think di Resta would have been that far behind Hulkenberg early in 2013? He was in good form.
If 2013 version of di Resta and 2013v Gutierrez were paired in a team-mate battle, di Resta would come out on top quite comfortably.
I have a strong suspicion he wouldn't come out on top comfortably. Otherwise I wouldn't even mention anything about them in comparison. People assume di Resta would've beaten Gutierrez comfortably and that's the assumption I refuse to use based on what I've seen. I'm not sure if Gutierrez would've beaten di Resta, but I'm sure it wouldn't be a domination from Paul.
I'm sure Hulk was a bit rusty early in the 2012 season. When he returned to his top form, he was putting on di Resta more gap on average that he is putting now on Gutierrez (considering the whole current season, not only last 3 or 4 races). That period of 10-11 races in 2012 is quite big and can't be unterestimated just because it was only part of the season. It makes sense to assume Hulk was not as good at the beginning of 2012 as he was at the end of 2012 AND the beginning of 2013. He hadn't participated a single race for around 16 months between late 2010 and early 2012. So di Resta-Hulk comparison from early 2012 is a bit misleading, second half of the season gave better view on driver's actual capabilities IMO.
And that comparison between Hulk-di Resta-Gutierrez puts the last one in much better light than most of people would expect based on their gut feeling. If there is a di Resta-Gutierrez driver pairing in 2014, my money would be on Esteban to come out on top. I'm honest and I'm not a fan of Gutierrez or a hater of di Resta. This is how I really see it.
Gutierrez has been within 10-15 seconds of Hulkenberg over a race distanse more often than not this season. To beat Gutierrez comfortably, di Resta would pretty much need to be at least a match for Hulk. Would that happen? I don't think so.
Edited by Anderis, 08 October 2013 - 20:02.