F1 notes: di Resta to DTM; van der Garde named Sauber reserve

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Two of the drivers from 2013 who failed to find a spot on the 2014 Formula One grid have landed in respectable areas.

Paul di Resta returns to the DTM, and with Mercedes-Benz. The Scot often punched above his weight in 57 Grands Prix over the last three years with Force India, and scored a best career result of fourth place twice (2012 Singapore Grand Prix, 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix). He resumes in the DTM after four full seasons there from 2007-’10, the latter of which he won the series championship.

“Much has changed since my last DTM race in Shanghai in 2010 with new cars, a new set of rules and a third manufacturer, but what has not changed is my enormous appetite for success,” di Resta said in a release. “Mercedes-Benz has given me a car that I can use to fight for wins and the title. However, I realize that it will not be easy.”

With Sam Bird known to be exploring his options in America – he’ll be racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Starworks Motorsport PC class team this weekend – Mercedes AMG Petronas is yet to nominate a reserve driver for 2014, and di Resta could be the pick there to keep him at least somewhat in the F1 fold.

Someone who is staying in the F1 fold, albeit now outside of a race seat after Caterham’s confirmations this morning, is Dutchman Giedo van der Garde. After his first season on the grid, van der Garde will move to Sauber where he has been nominated a test and reserve driver there.

“I consider this an important step in my career,” van der Garde said. “It is my goal to help the team with the development of the new car. But, of course, I am a racing driver, and I want to show the team and everybody else what I am capable of and that I deserve a race seat with the Sauber F1 Team in 2015. After all, my ambition remains unchanged and I am highly motivated to succeed in Formula One, especially in the long term.”

The van der Garde signing means Sergey Sirotkin, the Russian who had been rumored for a race seat and was confirmed as just a test driver, will be second on the pecking order to van der Garde if a race opportunity arises during the season. Sirotkin is also set for a full season in Formula Renault 3.5.

Pippa Mann, breast cancer survivors paint IMS’ start/finish line pink

Photo: IndyCar
Photo: IndyCar
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We’ve written a fair bit on MotorSportsTalk about the efforts Pippa Mann has done in working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer awareness. Susan G. Komen has supported Mann’s last two runs at the Indianapolis 500, when she’s driven the No. 63 Honda for Dale Coyne Racing.

This being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the awareness hit a new level with Mann working alongside breast cancer survivors to paint the start/finish line at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Yard of Bricks pink for the day.

IMS president Doug Boles also joined in the opportunity.

View a selection of photos and social posts below. More is linked here, via

Mercedes set to clinch F1 constructors’ championship in Russia

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 08:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP speaks with members of the media in the paddock during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 8, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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For the second year in a row, Mercedes is poised to wrap up the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in Sochi at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

Mercedes won its first F1 teams’ title in Russia last year, having returned to the sport as a works constructor in 2010. When it last enjoyed such status in the 1950s, there was no championship for the teams.

Just as it did in 2014, Mercedes has dominated proceedings in F1 this season, winning all but three races and sweeping to eight one-two finishes to leave drivers Lewis Hamilton (pictured) and Nico Rosberg battling for the drivers’ title for the second straight year.

Now, Mercedes seeks the knock-out blow in the constructors’ title race by officially wrapping it up in Sochi this weekend.

To do so, the team must simply outscore rivals Ferrari by three points this weekend. The lead currently stands at 169 points, with 215 still on offer. After Sochi, there will be 172 remaining.

“We return to Russia with positive memories from last season, when the team sealed the first constructors’ title for Mercedes-Benz with a one-two finish,” team boss Toto Wolff said.

“A repeat performance in Sochi would be fantastic and this is absolutely the target – but we are under no illusions that it will come easy. The job is not done yet.”

The tire allocation for this weekend’s race could pose problems to Mercedes just as it did in Singapore, potentially allowing Ferrari to spoil the party and delay the victory celebrations at Brackley.

However, if the form book is to be trusted, Sochi could be playing host to another Mercedes party on Sunday night with a second world title in the bag for the Silver Arrows.