SCOTLAND’S Paul Di Resta does not believe Formula 1 has seen the last of him.
Di Resta admits to sadness that he is not in Australia this week preparing for F1’s season-opener around Melbourne’s Albert Park. Instead, the 27-year-old was last week at a fitness camp with the other Mercedes drivers as he readies himself for a return to DTM, the German touring car series he won in 2010 before moving up to F1.
After three years with Force India and despite what proved to be his best season with the Silverstone-based team in 2013, the Scot found himself ousted as they hired Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
There has been speculation about Di Resta becoming Mercedes’ reserve driver this season, particularly given his decade-long association with the German manufacturer.
Di Resta insists there is “nothing yet” in that regard, but it will not be for the want of trying that he will attempt to get a foot back in the door of F1.
“My desire is to be involved in Formula One in some way, shape or form,” he said. “Staying as actively as you can in the sport is important and, if there is any chance to get back, then, hopefully, that can happen.
“I’ll take it year by year and I’ll do what I can to get back in. I certainly don’t feel as though the door has closed on me in any way, and I’m not too old to give up. I did enough to show people what I can do, and there may be chances pop up.”
When the DTM schedule allows, with that series not starting up until the first weekend in May, Di Resta certainly plans on visiting the F1 paddock when he can. “I’ll definitely be keeping in touch, and I’ve a massive interest as well,” added Di Resta. “Obviously I’m sad not to be there [in Melbourne], but I’m planning on trying to get to a few races, and when it comes back to Europe it will be far easier.
“The most important thing is I concentrate on what I’m doing at the moment and get myself up to speed first before I think of anything else.”
Although his F1 ambitions have not waned, Di Resta is naturally eager to make an impression back in DTM with Mercedes, who have not won the title since his departure four years ago. He added: “I’m massively keen to get myself on and get racing again.
“It will also be quite nice to get back on the podium again and win races. Obviously it’s a different challenge. I don’t see it as a backward step.
“It’s just different racing, and I’m with good people, a manufacturer I have spent 10 years with. I’m enjoying it, which is the most important thing about the job, and you have to be professional about it.
“It’s also my hobby, everything I’ve wanted to do, so I’ll keep doing that with the same desire and determination to be successful. Hopefully, I can start off from where I finished in 2010. I’m also three years more mature, so from that point there is no negative.”