Exiled Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta will make a comeback to Germany’s DTM championship this year.
The 27-year-old landed a lifeline drive with Mercedes after previous employers, Force India, opted for a brand new driver line-up for the 2014 F1 season, hiring Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg in place of di Resta and teammate Adrian Sutil, who swapped with Hülkenberg and went to Sauber.
Di Resta has enjoyed a long association with Mercedes, with whom he won the 2010 DTM championship title while dovetailing as Force India’s reserve driver.
His success promoted him to a full-time race seat with the Silverstone F1 team, with whom he raced for his entire career. His best finishes were a pair of fourth-placed efforts at the 2012 Singapore and 2013 Bahrain Grands Prix.
“It feels really good to be back in the DTM and to see so many familiar faces again,” di Resta said at a DTM pre-season test at the Portimão circuit.
“The DTM is a fantastic racing series with three strong premium brands, a very competitive field and a very evenly matched bunch of drivers. I’m really looking forward to working with the whole Mercedes-Benz DTM team and being part of another championship challenge.”
“Much has changed since my last DTM race in Shanghai in 2010 with new cars, a new set of rules and a third manufacturer,” he added.
“Mercedes-Benz has given me a car that I can use to fight for wins and the title. However, I realise that it will not be easy. My competitors have two years of experience with the new generation of vehicles, but, starting with the first test, I’ll be going flat out in order to be capable of winning at the Hockenheim season opener in early May.”
Di Resta’s return to the DTM championship could possibly give him a foot in the F1 door, with rumours suggesting that the Scot may be drafted as a reserve driver for the Mercedes works F1 team.