Paul Di Resta: I’m here to fight for the championship

Paul Di Resta. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Paul Di Resta. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Bathgate’s Paul di Resta will return to the sharp end of racing again this season after confirming he will contest the DTM Championship in Germany with Mercedes.

Di Resta, 27, was dumped by Force India at the end of last season after two years in Formula One after the team opted to accept the multi-million pound sponsorship package brought by Mexican driver Sergio Perez.

Now Di Resta, who won the touring car championship with Mercedes in 2010, can’t wait to get back in to the thick of the highly-competitive racing.

“I’m here to win races and fight for the championship,” Di Resta said as he began his first pre-season test at the Portimao Circuit in the Algarve. “I was the last person to win a championship here for Mercedes, and bringing the title back is one of the key reasons Mercedes has brought me here.

“Racing is my job, but I’ve got to enjoy my racing, and coming back here is where I am going to enjoy it most.

“I’ve not stood on the podium for three years, although I was close a few times in F1.

“Now I’ve got the challenge of being back in DTM and winning races with a frontline team again.”

Di Resta was upbeat over being back in a front-running car in surroundings he knows and is comfortable with.

“It feels really good to be back in the DTM and to see so many familiar faces again,” the Scot continued.

“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, but what has not changed is my enormous appetite for success.

“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 already have two years of experience with the new generation of vehicles, but, starting with our first test, I’ll be going flat out in order to be capable of winning at the season opener.”

The ten-race DTM Championship season gets underway with the traditional season-opener at Hockenheim on May 4.