Di Resta returns to DTM after losing F1 seat

2014 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Paul di Resta will return to the DTM, Germany’s Touring Car Championship, having lost his Formula One seat.

Di Resta was dropped by Force India at the end of last season after a three-year stint at the team.

“It feels really good to be back in the DTM and to see so many familiar faces again,” said Di Resta. “The DTM is a fantastic racing series with three strong premium brands, a very competitive field and a very evenly matched bunch of drivers.”

Among the other F1-linked drivers in this year’s DTM field are Di Resta’s team mate and McLaren test driver Gary Paffett, former Toyota and Marussia driver Timo Glock (BMW) and Red Bull’s Antonio Felix da Costa.

Di Resta raced in the DTM between 2007 and 2010 and attracted attention when he took the championship lead in his first season despite driving a two-year-old car. After being given the benefit of more up-to-date machinery he won the championship at his fourth attempt before being promoted to F1.

Mercedes’s backing has played a major role in Di Resta’s career since he won the McLaren Mercedes Champions of the Future Kart event in 2000. Mercedes also powered him to victory in the 2006 Formula Three Euroseries.

Di Resta will have his first test in the team’s latest car today at the Portimao circuit in Portugal.

“Mercedes-Benz has given me a car that I can use to fight for wins and the title,” he said. “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 today’s first test, I’ll be going flat out in order to be capable of winning at the Hockenheim season opener in early May.”

2014 F1 season

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

45 comments on “Di Resta returns to DTM after losing F1 seat”

  1. Not really sad to see Mr. “Grumpy cat” DiResta go from F1 back to DTM

    1. Totally agree. I felt that, though his ability was decent (in F1 terms), his attitude was always that bit too haughty – placing himself above others, and being more talk than action. I hope he feels more at home in DTM, and maybe he will not feel the need to be as defensive as he was in F1.

      1. @stigrennfahrer @smudgersmith1 @pejte — I agree. I’m not sad for Paul to lose his F1 seat, as he was mediocre in comparison to others but a world-class complainer, but I am happy that he can continue w/ his career as a racecar driver.

        Would anyone begrudge him that opportunity…the chance to keep racing? I hope not…

        1. No of course not, I don’t think anyone would argue, he is a really talented driver, but the word driver in F1 has a much wider context, it includes either being a team player or team leader, (depends on the kind of team you are operating in) you have to deal with the sponsors, deal with the media, both privately and publicly, I think Paul failed quite obviously in most of the extra roles and came across terribly.
          But I hope he has a successful racing career, but personally not in a formula I watch.

  2. That’s a great choice, DTM is a very strong series and Di Resta knows it well. Many excellent drivers, such as Glock, Farfus, Spengler, Paffett, Da Costa are already confirmed for 2014 and I hope that they will be joined by several others, who deserve to be in F1 but don’t have the money, such as Valsecchi and Kovalainen. I’m certainly looking forward to the upcoming DTM season.

    1. I was following DTM last year and found it quite fun, despite their “required” pitstops. I also love that they put all their races on YouTube along with highlights and their own “Top 10s”. It’s also the only major series I can think of that has a Canadian racing in it (although DTM has two), and I was quite happy to see some great performances from Spengler and Wickens (who I hope, but doubt, will be in F1 in the future).

      I guess how DTM worked in 2013 would probably be a nightmare for Bernie, as Rockenfeller only won 2 races compared to Farfus’ 3 races, yet still won the championship.

      1. @steevkay – I echo your sentiments and started watching DTM via YouTube this winter, catching up on some of last year’s drama.

        I could actually see myself becoming a genuine fan of Paul’s now that he’s in the DTM. God, please let him not be as negative, critical and unpleasant in his public statements so I can take pleasure in supporting him!

  3. Yay! He’s gone!

  4. Can’t say I’ll miss him. While he had a couple of genuinely good races, he never did anything remarkable enough to compensate for his “everything is the team’s fault”-attitude.

  5. Any way back in to F1 for di Resta? I guess if Hulk makes the step up to a top team next year Force India might consider di Resta again in 2015. I think Mallya hinted as such already. I think the crucial thing is whether di Resta can win back a Mercedes engine subsidy for the team (it seems they’re currently obliged to run a German driver, but maybe they’d be allowed to run a double DTM champion).

    @keithcollantine maybe we could have an article on drivers who have dropped out of F1 only to return at a later date. Sutil, Kimi (maybe now Kobayashi) are recent examples.

    1. Grosjean another.

      1. Drop double points!
        21st January 2014, 10:16

        Alonso is another…

    2. Top 10 F1 comebacks…?

      1. Martin Brundle could be in it twice.

        If a Lotus driver gets injured or banned (I wouldn’t like to guess which one) they’ll want to bring in someone who isn’t their official reserve driver.

        1. if one of the drivers can(t race they will want one that does have experience with the 2014 f1 car. Di Resta hasn’t got that with more testing this year the reserve driver might have.

  6. As a Scot it’s disappointing there are once again none racing in F1, but that being said I won’t really miss di Resta. He’s had a good long chance to prove himself and it hasn’t really come to anything, maybe he just wasn’t suited to F1. As a past DTM champion i’m sure he can achieve more success there!

  7. Still can’t understand why so many seem to think Di Resta did nothing in F1.

    He led a couple races, Had several strong results, Some good qualifying runs & overall showed solid pace.

    Given a front running car he’d likely be right up with the top guys contending for podiums/wins.

    Another sad casualty of the pay driver epidemic.

    1. Agreed, and while he never really shone he seemed to have what it takes, given the chance. Its very sad that ppl like Maldonado get a drive whilst drivers like Paul are sent packing.

    2. Very true.
      I’ve been a ‘fan’ of his purely because others were against him so much. Even when he had good results (Bahrain for example), people were like “lol nope, he’s still a noob”.
      Shame, really. But he does well in DTM, so at least he can win races there in peace :D

    3. Very true.
      I’ve been a ‘fan’ of his purely because others were against him so much. Even when he had good results (Bahrain for example), people were like “lol nope, he’s still a noob”.
      Shame, really. But he does well in DTM, so at least he can win races there in peace :D

    4. I think that his attitude cost him his seat. His pace would be enough to stay in F1 at least at a lower mid-field team, but he stagnated ever since he came to F1 and he never looked like a team-player from his comments during race-weekends.
      Also out of the 3 seasons he only won 2013 against his team-mate and not by a big margin and Sutil had a rather bad year himself.

    5. True, but others managed podiums/wins in similar situations.

    6. I agree. He certainly didn’t set the world alight with his talent, but he was one of the more solid, consistent mid-field drivers (apart from his woeful midseason this year) and I would have liked to see him have a go in a front-running car for at least a season, in the same way Perez got his shot.

      Like others have said though I don’t think he’s just a victim of the pay driver situation, I think his attitude cost him dearly. He just did not have the natural ability to mesh well with a team it seems, and he had a habit of losing his temper a bit and blaming the team for mishaps. “What the **** was that!?” and so on.

      Alas. As a fellow Scotsman I’m a little bummed out about him leaving, but it is what it is. I’m an existing fan of touring cars though, so I’ll still see him in DTM :D

    7. I completely agree.

      And while his attitude wasn’t the best, I’ve seen far worse by some drivers.

  8. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    21st January 2014, 10:53

    I wish him the best of luck. Not sure if he’ll come back to F1. With the way things are going, he’ll have to find himself a pot of gold to get back.

  9. Di Resta was a solid driver who on merit probably deserves to be in F1, however I won’t miss his poor attitude.

  10. His attitude probably contributed more to him failing to get a drive rather than his actual talent.

    He was usually pretty good at bringing the car home, it was only last year where he had a few brain fade moments. He was unlucky to be paired up with Hulk who we all know is pretty darn good. He was pretty even with him until the halfway point of 2012. His qualifying wasn’t exactl. Fantastic either. Thought he was better than Perez or Sutil or Maldonado though, but money speaks louder than driving in F1.

    1. *exactly fantastic.

      Darn phone!

  11. @TMF – I tend to agree with that a a few other following comments. Di Resta IMO has shown he is good enough to be in F1, but I dont think at the pointy end. I think he can consider himself very unlucky that his ex-teammate in Sutil got a seat but he missed out, and maybe Perez’s late dropping did not help him here, as well as the late cash drop by Pastor and waiting for The Hulk to confirm.

    He did, however did publically vent some anger when Serg got a promotion in Oct 12 and he had to sit tight- he needed to get a leaf from Nico Hulkenburg’s book, keep disapointment in house and keep smiling- it may have helped him a bit ???

  12. He is a very good driver, but you need more than that to be successful in F1, you need to be a team player or get the best out of your team, two traits he plainly didn’t do.
    I can’t imagine a sponsor anywhere thinking, “oh great, we have Di Resta coming too our event tonight, this will be fun”.

  13. Given a front running car, most of the drivers would say the same.moo

  14. Di Resta is not a bad driver, but rather than improving steadily he started off as very good and stayed there, while expectations increased, and he quickly fell below them, especially in the second half of this year. DTM is the best choice outside of F1, but I’m sorry to see it’s almost over for someone who not long ago was branded as a future champion. Good luck Paul!

  15. Tut Tut Tut … feel a tinge of sadness ..but only a tinge . Not more.

  16. He has the personality of a wet sock http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-EWm8XD0c4

    1. Also that clip is hilarious ^

  17. Probably undone by his attitude, because his performances were far from disastrous, and were occasionally slightly above average.

  18. I don’t think Di Resta is bad, but he can do better. 2013 was particularly bad for him since he did have a string of races (Hungary to Korea) where he failed to finish (whether it was his own mistake or mechanical issues). Although, if you think about it, in 9 races he did finish in the points, typically around a 7th-9th place (makes sense if you consider RBR, Ferrari, Merc, and Lotus typically held the top spots). As far as I can tell, 2 races he could not finish due to mechanical issues (Malaysia and Hungary, I think?) but I think all his other retirements are due to collisions/accidents (I don’t recall them all, so I don’t know who was at fault). Not conidering the mechanical issues which are out of his control, he had 9 points finishes in 17 races. Is it really that bad for a mid-field team that’s only really battling for 7th – 10th places?

    In any case, I was never astonished by his performances, but thought he was solid. I think newer drivers will have to put up poor performances for Di Resta to be considered again. There’s always hope… heck, I didn’t think Pic and Van der Garde would be dropped, and now Kobayashi is back. Also, if all goes well, there should be 2 brand new seats opening up for 2015 as well… (fingers crossed)

  19. I don’t think he deserves to be given the boot like that. He wasn’t brilliant, but he was far, far from the worst. However, I won’t miss him. His endless moaning, and pointing fingers got really boring, really quickly. However, I hope he does well in DTM. Maybe even do a comeback for next year, once whatshisname pay-driver runs out of money.
    Hopefully with a slightly more tolerable attitude.

  20. Not a likeable person at all. An Italian Jock, he had little humility, no sense of humor and his driving was average.. Unlike Kamui Kobayashi who is very popular, exciting to watch and very likeable Glad to see him back in F1

  21. I had to actually check that he spent three years in F1. Seems like he arrived just a few races ago, and always he was “so promising”. But nothing ever happened. Shame.

  22. Otherwise Di Resta is a good driver.

  23. Finally! Surprised that DTM let him come back.

  24. petebaldwin (@)
    12th March 2016, 20:16


Comments are closed.