The pair were team-mates back in 2006, when Di Resta famously beat the world champion to the Formula Three Euro Series title.
Barely 19 at the time, Vettel had already made his F1 baptism as a reserve driver for BMW Sauber and has since forged an illustrious, record-breaking career, culminating in back-to-back world championships in 2010 and 2011.
Di Resta, meanwhile, moved into the German DTM touring car series, where he raced for four seasons before winning the title in 2010 - the same year he made his F1 debut as a reserve driver at Force India.
The Scot graduated to a race seat last year and having been retained by Force India for 2012, says he would love to be back dicing with Vettel.
However, while paying tribute to the German's achievements, Di Resta pointed out that, in racing for Red Bull, the odds have been stacked in his old rival's favour.
"We were team-mates in Formula 3 in 2006 and we had the same equipment," Di Resta told the Daily Star.
"Fortunately, I came out on top that year and we had a great battle that went right down to the wire.
"I'd like to be racing him at the front of Formula One. I have a lot of respect for what he's done. You can't take away what he's achieved this year or diminish his success, but he's been in the best car."
Di Resta will have a new team-mate in 2012, with Nico Hulkenberg replacing Adrian Sutil at Force India.
"I don't care which driver I have as a team-mate as long as I am beating them. But you need someone pushing you along at the same time," the 25-year-old added.