Williams: 'No expectation' on stand-in di Resta
29 July 2017 – Williams deputy team boss Claire Williams says there is "no expectation" on Paul di Resta as he stands in for the ill Felipe Massa at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Massa took part in Friday's practice sessions at the Hungaroring but complained of feeling unwell, and was taken to the MH EK Honvedkorkaz hospital for an evaluation.
He was cleared to run in final practice, but still felt sick and dizzy, the Brazilian ending his session early, before it was confirmed that he had withdrawn from the event.
Di Resta, who last raced in Formula 1 with Force India during the 2013 season, but has tested several Williams cars, has been drafted in to replace him.
"I think if we had to have anyone in our car, you're going to have total confidence with someone like Paul," Williams told Sky Sports ahead of qualifying.
"He may not have driven in a Formula 1 race weekend for a couple of years, but he's been our reserve driver for two years and he sits in every single engineering briefing session.
"I have confidence, but it's going to take him some time in Q1."
On di Resta's chances, Williams added: "We knew coming into the weekend that it wasn't going to be the easiest track for us, and FP1 and FP2 proved that.
"Paul is going to have his work cut out this afternoon, so there's no expectation, the very fact that we've got a driver that can take part is all we can expect.
"If he can score points, that would be wonderful."
Williams described Massa as "genuinely upset" over the situation.
"I think he's more upset than anything else," she said.
"You imagine, you're so in tune to doing a race weekend, then at the very last minute to not be able to do it, he's genuinely upset.
"But he's made right choice, as safety for any of our drivers has to be priority, so we made the decision that he shouldn't take part in the rest of the weekend.
"After this he will seek some medical advice to make sure that he's fit for Spa."
Williams also defended the decision to field Massa in final practice, which could have been handed to di Resta for 60 minutes of preparation time.
"We did everything we could have done yesterday to make sure that Felipe was in a position to take part in FP3," she went on to comment.
"He was signed off by the FIA medical delegate and by the hospital that he spent a few hours at having tests yesterday, so we had expectations that it would be fine.
"It's the right thing to do as well, to give your driver that opportunity, rather than stand him down.
"Of course, it would have been great if Paul had some time in FP3 today, but what can you do? You can't plan for everything, can you?"
Di Resta will partner rookie Lance Stroll.