Sahara Force India driver Paul di Resta on Thursday said he is surprised by Nico Hulkenberg's decision to join Sauber since the Indian team has been more consistent than their close rival, this season.
Sauber on Wednesday confirmed signing of Hulkenberg for the 2013 season.
"I was surprised that Nico left this team, to be fair, for an immediate competitor. I don't see it as being a step up, to be perfectly honest. I see it as an equal kind of status," the Scot, who has been with the Indian team since 2010, said.
Paul said staying at the Force India would have been a better option for his teammate.
"Long term where you see this team is going, I think it is probably better [at Force India]."
Sauber are currently placed sixth in the teams' standings with 116 points while Force India have 93.
"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. It may be different. Next year may be different, and I don't know the full reasons why Nico has gone there," Paul said.
"There is progression, and the way this team is structured and going forward, I am content where I am," he added.