Paul di Resta targets qualifying gains in bid for second DTM title

Mercedes driver Paul di Resta acknowledges he has to get it right more often in qualifying in 2016 if he is to challenge for a second DTM title

Paul di Resta targets qualifying gains in bid for second DTM title

The Scot recorded three podiums during his second season back from Formula 1, and finished eighth in the standings.

That made him the second-best Mercedes driver, albeit with just under half of champion Pascal Wehrlein's tally of 169 points.

Wehrlein's biggest asset was consistency, while di Resta qualified inside the top six for six races, but also started five races from the bottom six.

"Getting it all together is key to it," he told Autosport.

"If we do that, we've proved that we are on our day well within reach of the battle at the front.

"Really since the Red Bull Ring round, I've gotten back into the groove of what it is.

"And I've got everything - team, car, crew - working well, albeit with a few mistakes here and there in qualifying and getting taken out of races, which has been hard.

"If you look at it, the results doesn't tell the full picture, but when we are on track, I think you can safely say we are at the top and very happy."

Di Resta ended his season with a podium in the Sunday race at the Nurburgring, then a pair of fourths at Hockenheim's finale in October.

While his DTM return coincided with a disastrous 2014 for Mercedes, the manufacturer took a step forward with its rehomologated C-Coupe.

Noting that he could have done "with the season being a couple of races longer", di Resta said the progress it made was obvious.

"I'm quite content that we can repeat what we finished off," he added.

"I think the baseline was where we started the year at Hockenheim, being on the podium and we've come to the last round and we're still hovering around there.

"I think it shows a true reflection of where the car is.

"There are some tracks that have suited us more than others, I think definitely the major disappointment was Lausitzring.

"But from there on, we can safely say that next year we should be fairly comfortable going anywhere.

"The team should be proud of themselves with what they have achieved, I don't think anybody would have written that in their book at the end of last year, that we would be where are now."

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Mercedes needs more of its drivers on pace in 2016 DTM - Paffett
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