Paul Di Resta returns to competitive racing this weekend when he leads Mercedes’ seven-car assault on Germany’s DTM Championship at Hockenheim.
In front of 100,000 spectators, the 28-year-old will complete his switch from the glitz, glamour and politics of Formula One to a series in which he feels completely at home.
“It is like coming home,” said Di Resta, who raced in DTM between 2007 and 2010 before spending three years in F1 with Force India.
“I always felt comfortable in DTM, and especially with Mercedes, so it’s great to be back amongst friends.”
Di Resta — who remains favourite to be named as test driver for the Mercedes F1 team — has already impressed during pre-season testing, topping the timesheets on at least one occasion. But the Scot — who won the championship with Mercedes in 2010 — is playing down his expectations for this season.
“Like any racer, I start every season wanting to score podiums, win races, and ultimately win championships,” he stated. “But DTM is ultra competitive.
“In addition, this year’s Mercedes is a completely new homologation of the car I last drove in 2010, so there’s a lot to learn.
“But I know it’s not just me who is having to learn about the car. Everyone who is part of the Mercedes DTM team has been working hard to ensure we get the best out of the new car, especially for the opening race this weekend.”