Bathgate’s Paul di Resta started his bid for the DTM Championship by clinching his best-ever finish in the traditional season opener at Hockenheim. The 24-year-old Scot finished fourth as his Mercedes team locked-out the top four positions.
“I’ve got to be happy with that,” Di Resta, who stated the race from sixth on the grid and recovered to finish just 2.251secs behind England’s 2005 DTM champ Gary Paffett, admitted today.
‘”It was great to get back into racing action after all the Formula One testing I’ve been doing with Force India. Considering i haven’t raced since the final DTM race last October, I’ve got to be pleased with that.
Obviously it would have been brilliant to have finished on the podium, but with Mercedes team-mates Bruno (Spengler) and Jamie (Green) immediately in front of me, while there are obviously no team orders, a certain obvious logic kicks in.”
Di Resta, who returns to Scotland now for a few days’ break having travelled to China for the F1 grand prix a fortnight ago before heading straight to Germany, returns to action a week on Friday at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
While Di Resta was satisfied with his finish, F1 veteran David Coulthard battled through the field from 17th on the grid to finish 12th on his debut driving a 2008-spec Mercedes.
“It was all a bit of an eye-opener,” the 13-time grand prix winner, who finished 35.164s behind Paffett and more than six seconds behind Oban’s Susie Stoddart in 11th, said.
“I was disappointed with my qualifying pace, but it was great to get back on-track and go racing with the guys. I’m learning all the time in the car and I’m confident I’ll be even faster next time out at Valencia in four weeks.