Di Resta, Wehrlein score podiums in opening DTM weekend

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta and current Mercedes AMG Petronas test driver Pascal Wehrlein both enjoyed strong starts to the 2015 DTM season by reaching the podium at Hockenheim on Saturday.

Di Resta last raced in F1 for Force India in 2013, but was dropped alongside Adrian Sutil to make way for Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez for 2014.

Unable to secure another drive, di Resta opted to move back to DTM – Germany’s premier touring car series – for 2014, where he finished 15th in the final standings with three fourth-place finishes to his name.

However, the Briton made an improved start to the year on Saturday, finishing third for Mercedes at Hockenheim behind 20-year-old Pascal Wehrlein in second place. The race was won by Audi’s Jamie Green.

“That really was a great start,” di Resta told dtm.com. “I was close to Pascal straight away and then I was able to overtake him. Unfortunately, my brakes degraded in the closing stages.

“During the winter break, we have been working hard and optimised quit a lot, but you never know where you are exactly. It is a real relief to see what we are able to achieve again with our cars.”

Di Resta was unable to repeat his podium finish on Sunday, though, finishing at the back of the field following contact with a number of drivers throughout the second race.

DTM remains one of the premier touring car championships in Europe, and is the training ground for a number of drivers bidding to reach F1 in the future such as Wehrlein and Austrian youngster Lucas Auer.