Four weeks before the start of the new season, Bathgate’s Paul Di Resta has confirmed he will return to lead Mercedes-Benz’s assault on the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) vowing to complete his “unfinished business”.
The 22-year-old Scot, who was only denied last year’s title by some cynically aggressive driving my a number of Audi drivers in the final round at Hockenheim, is joined in Merc’s No1 AMG team by former F1 grand prix winner Ralf Schumacher.
And while Di Resta admits he won’t be fazed by having Schumacher alongside him in the team, he is equally adamant he will take no prisoners as he bids to wrestle the championship away from Audi’s Timo Scheider.
“Having Ralf as a team-mate; well, he’s just that, a team-mate,” Di Resta, who remains linked to a switch to F1, stated today as he prepared for tomorrow’s official DTM launch in front of 200,00 fans in Dusseldorf.
“We get on very well and I know he’s fast — he would be, of course, having won in Formula One — but just as with any team, the first man you aim to beat is your team-mate and with Ralf it will be no different.
“As for the season ahead, obviously my aim is to go one step further than last year and win the championship. Of course it was disappointing to miss out on the title, especially after the series of results we put together in the second half of the season.
“In the last five races I think I was second four times and won the other race. Then, of course, we had the shenanigans in the final race when Audi drivers Mattias Ekstrom and Martin Tomczyk blatantly wrecked my race and stopped me beating Timo fairly.
“This year I’m taking no prisoners. I learned a lot in that final race and I have no intention of allowing myself to be put in that position again. On reflection we lost the championship by not scoring enough in the opening two rounds.
“This year we’re going to be fast straight out of the box at the first round at Hockenheim in four weeks. Obviously F1 remains my ultimate goal, but at the moment I have unfinished business in DTM.”