Paul di Resta believes Mercedes has emerged from its troubled times in the DTM, after he and AMG teammate Pascal Werhlein chased Audi’s race winner Jamie Green to the finish in the Hockenheim season opener.
The former Force India F1 racer was forced to concede second place to Wehrlein in the closing stages due to a brake problem, but he was bubbling with enthusiasm for the season ahead after suffering a difficult return to the series last year, when he only finished in the points three times.
“This new format has been quite intense today,” said di Resta of the Saturday sprint event. “We can certainly go back to the office and relax a bit now, the pressure I think is off compared to where it was a month ago. I think the other manufacturers we’re going to keep rollerballing because we started quite a long way behind, and look at where we are now.
“The main thing is the job that everybody at AMG Mercedes has done. From last year to where we are now, the work has paid off with the restructure and good times are ahead. We’ve got a strong package. If you’d said I was going to finish third, I’d have signed for that last October – definitely!
“We were very confident right from qualifying that we’ve got a good car. I think tomorrow is going to be wet, and we were strong in the wet [in free practice] as well. We’re optimistic we’re going to come away with some good points.”
Of his issues in the Saturday’s opener, he said: “Unfortunately in the last five laps I seemed to run out of brakes, I couldn’t stop the car for the hairpins. I was getting a bit worried, I almost went off a few times. We’ll analyse it.”