Paul di Resta has been linked to a possible move back to DTM after Force India replaced both their drivers for the 2014 season, while a vacancy in the IndyCar Series at Chip Ganassi Racing was recently filled.
Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg have both been confirmed as the fresh new faces for ‘Club Force’, meaning both the 2013 drivers, di Resta and teammate Adrian Sutil needed new seats.
Sutil has managed to clinch an alternative spot on the grid with Sauber, but opportunities are yet to come to light for di Resta, prompting speculation of a return to Germany’s touring car series, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).
The Scot won the DTM championship with Mercedes in 2010 and was initially linked to a move to IndyCar, however the vacancy left by the enforced retirement of his cousin Dario Franchitti was signed away this week.
Chip Ganassi, the team’s owner, confirmed Australian driver Ryan Briscoe will be racing with them in 2014 and Franchitti’s car will be driven by Brazilian Tony Kanaan, who joins the team from KV Racing.
“I’m not in a position to say what I’ll be doing next year,” the Scot said.
“But one thing I know definitely is that I’ll be in a competitive car, in a series I know I’ll be capable of not only winning races, but also the championship.”
This year was Di Resta’s third year in Formula 1. He was lauded in the first season, but perhaps outshone by Hülkenberg in the latter part of his second season and suffered from a number of retirements this year.
Regardless, he was still able to amass a number of points’ finishes and claimed 12th position overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings. It was one spot higher than his teammate Sutil and the best of his three years so far.
However, di Resta brings no sponsorship with him and in today’s economic climate, financial backing clearly talks.
Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said that Paul did ‘nothing wrong’ to be dropped, but the team wanted something new.
“He’s a great guy, he’s a good driver. I’ve got nothing against Paul or Adrian for that matter, they both remain very good friends,” he said.
“I like him… But every team needs to move on. We gave Paul a good stint with us, it wasn’t just a one-year stint. So we gave him the opportunity, he delivered for us.
“The bottom line is that I wish him all the best, I wish he stays in the Formula 1 paddock.”
All remains to be seen.
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