Mercedes-Benz has announced that Paul di Resta will be returning to their squad for the 2014 DTM season.
Di Resta, who previously drove in the series between 2007 and 2010, lost his Force India drive in Formula One after three seasons with the team. He will partner McLaren test and reserve driver Gary Paffett, driving DTM Mercedes AMG C-Coupe in the up-coming season.
Both di Resta and Paffett are DTM champions, with Paffett winning in 2005 and di Resta in 2010, the year before he left to become a Formula One driver.
The Scottish driver had a successful three years in DTM, with six wins, six poles and seven fastest laps from 42 races. He also finished on the podium a further 15 times.
“It feels really good to be back in the DTM and to see so many familiar faces again,” di Resta said. “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 continued. “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 titles”.
The former champion went on to admit that it will not be an easy season. “My competitors already have two years of experience with the new generation of vehicles but, starting with today’s first test [in Portimão], I’ll be going flat out in order to be capable of winning at the Hockenheim season opener in early May.”
Toto Wolff said: “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”.
Mercedes-Benz has been a part of di Resta’s racing career for a long time. He won the McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future karting event in 2000 and went on to become a Mercedes junior in 2004. In 2005 he competed in the Formula 3 Euro Series, which he won with a Mercedes engine, beating Sebastian Vettel. In Formula One he competed with Force India who used Mercedes engines.
It is also a special time for Mercedes-Benz, as Daimler prepares to mark its 120th anniversary of competition in motor racing – 80 years of the Silver Arrows and 30 years of DTM.