Mercedes' Paul di Resta surprised to lead DTM points with new car

Paul di Resta admits he is surprised to be leading the DTM points after the first event with Mercedes' new C63 race car

Mercedes' Paul di Resta surprised to lead DTM points with new car

While Audi and BMW are using their established models this year, Mercedes has introduced updated bodywork, something the brand conceded was problematic pre-season.

Di Resta finished fourth in the opening race at Hockenheim earlier this month, then claimed his first pole position and race win in the series since returning from Formula 1 in 2014 on the Sunday.

The 2010 DTM champion has a nine-point lead over stablemate Robert Wickens in the standings, which he leads for the first time in his second stint in the series.

"It's a long time since 2010 when I won my last DTM race at Hockenheim - longer than I would have wished," he said.

"This team has surprised me, they were very unaware of how this car was going to perform.

"Even on Friday we were making small adjustments and we've arrived here and actually won at the first round.

"As a championship contender, it looks beautiful.

"The positive vibe that I'm getting, I can't wait for the next round."

Di Resta's fellow Briton and expected championship contender Jamie Green will head to this weekend's second round at the Red Bull Ring without a point on the board, 37 from the summit.

The Audi driver was involved in early incidents each day. He finished 15th in the Saturday race after a penalty and was eliminated along with Esteban Ocon and Bruno Spengler in a first-lap incident on Sunday.

"Our car was competitive throughout the weekend," Green reflected.

"Looking at the whole season, I'm confident that we'll be in contention for victories.

"In each of the qualifying sessions, we extracted the best from the car, but in both races our chances of scoring points were thwarted.

"That's particularly frustrating when you weren't at fault in either case."

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