Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Di Resta earns Williams backing

Massa a doubt for Hungarian GP di Resta on standby Hungarian GP Massa a doubt for Hungarian GP di Resta on standby
Lori Graves | 30 July, 2017, 01:19

If the Brazilian does not drive, then the likely replacement would be Williams reserve driver Paul di Resta - who is in Budapest this weekend working for Sky TV, stepping in for the unwell Martin Brundle.

Williams reserve driver Di Resta, who last raced in the sport back in 2013, has not tested this year's auto, and will be thrown into the deep end in qualifying later on Saturday.

The 31-year-old, who has been working as a consultant for Sky Sports F1, will be jumping from the frying pan into the fire, having never driven the team's new-spec FW40 when he heads straight out into qualifying this afternoon.

"Felipe was feeling unwell and dizzy after FP2 (second practice on Friday) so went to the hospital purely as a precaution to check he was OK", a team spokeswoman said.

The team released a statement saying Massa made the decision to withdraw from the event himself after FP3 and that the team's focus is now on ensuring he can compete in the Belgian Grand Prix after August's summer break.

Paul di Resta was thrown into the "deepest of deep ends" at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday and emerged to universal acclaim. It meant the Scot - Williams' official reserve driver - replaced the Brazilian driver for his F1 appearance since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.

He was cleared to continue by the FIA medical delegate on Saturday and took to the track for the final practice session before qualifying.

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"There was a bit of a miscommunication, so I didn't know that anyone was coming behind and we've now got a penalty for blocking another vehicle..."

"You're very anxious. Nervous but very excited".

Di Resta had not driven the Williams F1 auto on track before and had very little time to prepare. "I haven't driven one of these cars for three-and-a-half years apart from 10 laps I did in a 2014 auto and you get thrown into qualifying which is the deepest of all deep, jumping off a cliff and seeing how you can fight for survival".

"I need to rest and prepare myself in the best way to come back even stronger in Spa".

"These cars are top of their game and it is like being back at home driving the best balanced vehicle you have ever driven".

I think Felipe Massa is more upset than anything else. You have to be very committed and confident.

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