Di Resta returns to DTM after F1 snub
Paul di Resta has returned to DTM with Mercedes-Benz this year after failing to secure a drive in Formula One.
After three years at Force India, di Resta found himself without a seat over the winter and on Tuesday confirmed he would be returning to DTM. He won the title in 2010 with Mercedes-Benz before stepping up to Formula One, but said he is happy to be back in the German touring car series.
"It's very nice to be back," he said. "Obviously, after the F1 opportunities started to go, racing for Mercedes-Benz and coming back to DTM is something that is close to my heart. Since the championship has moved on, I've always been enthusiastic and kept in touch with it. When the opportunity arose, the combination of Mercedes-Benz and myself hopefully means we can put a good package together to bring the championship back to Mercedes-Benz."
However, di Resta insists his F1 career is not over and hinted at drivers with bigger budgets as the reason he was forced out.
"I'm sad to go but I've had three tremendous years and I'm not leaving because I didn't perform, there are other issues," he told Autosport. "I'm still young enough that I can get back in there if the opportunity comes up. Racing in the DTM makes sense, and it lets me combine something with F1 and keep my foot in the door should something come up."
Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Toto Wolff added: "Paul Di Resta has been a member of the Mercedes-Benz family for many years, and we are delighted that he is returning to the fold this season to further strengthen our DTM squad. Paul has learned a lot during the past few years in Formula 1, and, together with Gary Paffett we now have two experienced drivers in our team, who have already won the DTM title with Mercedes-Benz and can put their knowledge to good use on the track, whilst passing on hints and tips to our Mercedes juniors."