Paul Di Resta
Paul Di Resta 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 in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) in 2010.
Di Resta recorded 59 starts in the Formula One World Championship, racing with Force India between 2011 and 2013, and then joining Williams in one race in 2017.
In the DTM, he spent four seasons between 2007 and 2010, and then returned in 2014. Earlier in a career, he was the Formula 3 Euro Series champion in 2006.
Grew up in a racing family
Paul was born in Uphall, village in West Lothian, Scotland. 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.
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 3 championin 2006
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.
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 He did well in his first season and finished 5th in the relatively outdated car.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.
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.
Formula 1 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.
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.
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.
In July 2017, he had an unexpected chance to race in Formula 1 Grand Prix at Hungaroring, replacing Felipe Massa who was ill. Di Resta retired in that race. In the DTM, he ended 11th in the points.
Participating in endurance classics in 2018
In 2018, Paul di Resta stayed with Mercedes in the DTM but also expanded his racing activities to sports car races. He joined United Autosports in two North American endurance classics, driving a Ligier JS P217 prototype at Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours. He also made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans with United Autosports, sharing a car with Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque. They didn't finish the race.
In the DTM, Di Resta was among the title contenders until the last round at Hockenheim. Prior to season's finale, he won three races. He finished just 8th and 14th in two Hockenheim races and dropped to P3 in the championship standings.
One season in the DTM with Aston Martin
In 2019, Di Resta stays in the DTM but he had to find a new team due to Mercedes' withdrawal from the series. The Scotsman joined R-Motorsport, the Swiss team that would represent Aston Martin in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. It was the only season for Aston Martin in the DTM and Di Resta finished 16th in the points.
In June 2019, he came back to Le Mans with United Autosports, sharing a Ligier LMP2 prototype with Philip Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque. They finished fourth in class and ninth overall. After that, Di Resta stays with United Autosports for the 2019-2020 FIA WEC season in the #22 Oreca LMP2.