PaulDiResta once was considered as a potential Formula 1 star but he has never achieved significant success in the most popular racing series. His biggest success so far is the championship title won in DTM series.
Paul was born in Uphall, village in West Lothian, Scotland, on 16th of April 1986. He grew up in Bathgate. Sports and especially racing are very popular in his family. Paul is a cousin of well-known racers Dario and Marino Franchitti, while his step-father was footballer Dougie McCracken. Paul’s younger brother Stefan also raced at an amateur level.
Paul Di Resta
As almost every professional driver, Paul Di Resta made his first steps driving karting. From 1994 until 2002 he has competed in the various karting competitions, winning the 2001 British JICA Championship.
Formula Renault champion
In 2003, Di Resta debuted in the British Formula Renault Series, driving for Eurotek Motorsport team. He scored his first win in the series and finished 7th overall in his rookie year. In the upcoming season, Di Resta moved to Manor Motorsport and did better. The Scot scored four wins in 2004 to finish 3rd in the Drivers’ championship. Being the driver of Manor team enabled Di Resta to compete in some Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races same year in which he has won the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young driver of the Year Award.
Paul Di Resta and Sebastian Vettel on the podium, 2006 F3 Euroseries, Brands Hatch
Di Resta stayed with Manor for 2005 but he moved up to Formula 3 championship in which he finished 10th. For the 2006 season, the Scot changed team colors and did an excellent job. As a driver of ASM team, Paul Di Resta won the title after being the fastest in five races, beating his teammate and future Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel.
Excellent time in DTM with Mercedes team
Even after being considered as one of the hottest prospects and future Formula 1 stars, Di Resta still was too far from the top-class racing. In 2007, he switched to touring cars racing, in the German DTM series. He became a driver for the Mercedes team. He did well in his first season and finished 5th in the relatively outdated car. With a new C-Class Mercedes, Di Resta battled for the championship crown in 2008, eventually finishing second only four points behind champion Timo Scheider.
Paul Di Resta, 2010 DTM champion with Mercedes
The following year Di Resta again was among the top drivers but he had to settle for the third position, again behind Scheider and compatriot and teammate Gary Paffett who was Paul’s main rival in 2010. Two British drivers and the Canadian Bruno Spengler battled for the title that year but thanks to three consecutive wins (Brands Hatch, Oschersleben, and Hockenheim) in the second half of the season, Paul Di Resta won the title, only four points ahead of Paffett and five ahead of Spengler.
Paul Di Resta had Formula 1 racing debut with Force India
At the same time, Di Resta was engaged as Force India’s test driver in Formula 1, driving in most of the free practice sessions, but without a chance to start in a single race. But, in 2011 he was promoted to regular driver, replacing Vitantonio Liuzzi. The debut was good as he scored a point in his first attempt in Australia. The same has happened in Malaysia and until the end of the season, di Resta scored points in another six races, with 6th place in Singapore as the highlight of the season. At the end, the Scot finished 13th in the Drivers’ championship with 27 points.
Paul Di Resta, Force India F1 team
For the 2012 Formula 1 season, Paul Di Resta stayed with Force India team but got a new teammate, Nico Hulkenberg. At the end of the season, Di Resta was 14th even after scored 46 points. He finished in the points zone in nine races that year and again his best result was in Singapore, this time being 4th. The following year, after the last race with Force India and last in the Formula 1, Di Resta finished 12th. He has scored 48 points. His form was consistent through the whole season with fifth place in India as the Scot’s best result in 2013. Surprisingly, the team has decided not to retain his services for 2014 saying he lacked star quality to be a Grand Prix winner.
Back to DTM and new chance in F1 with Williams
The decision to return to DTM series was expected, but Di Resta struggled to find his old form and finished only 15th. In 2015, he did slightly better, had three podium finishes and moved up to eighth.
Video - Di Resta onboard, F1 Monaco Grand Prix
In 2016, Paul Di Resta had dual commitments. He retained a place in DTM with Mercedes HWA AG team, and he also returned to Formula 1 as he got a place in Williams as a reserve driver. He had a fine season in DTM after scoring a victory at Hockenheim and other three podiums before taking th 5th place in the Drivers' Championship.
Paul Di Resta lives in Monaco with his wife Laura. The couple’s wedding was in Italy in 2014.