In photos: Di Resta's unexpected F1 return
31 July 2017 – Paul di Resta made an unexpected return to Formula 1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, racing for the first time since 2013 when he filled in for the unwell Felipe Massa at Williams. GPUpdate.net reflects on his weekend.
The Sky isn't the limit
Di Resta, Williams' reserve driver since 2016, was present at the Hungarian Grand Prix initially to act as a pundit and co-commentator on Sky Sports. He is pictured above at the preceding round in Britain, where Martin Brundle fell ill, leading to the Scot joining David Croft in the commentary box on race day.
Di Resta was placed on standby early on Saturday morning after Felipe Massa felt unwell during Friday's second practice session. Massa was given the green light to participate in the third session but cut short his running, with symptoms continuing, leading to Williams mechanics carrying out tweaks to the FW40.
Better Call Paul
During the lunch break, Williams duly confirmed that Massa had withdrawn from the weekend's action, with a view to returning at the Belgian Grand Prix, and that his place would be taken by di Resta.
Di Resta's first taste of the FW40 came when he rolled out of the pit lane at the start of Q1. Needing to qualify within 107 per cent of the best time, he put in an accomplished performance to improve on each run. Di Resta started with a 1:22.289 and followed it up with a 1:21.218, 1:21.075, 1:20.390 before finishing on a 1:19.868, putting him 19th, between the Sauber drivers, and just seven-tenths behind regular driver Lance Stroll.
Di Resta races the Saubers
Di Resta started on the Soft tyres and moved ahead of both Sauber drivers, who pitted early, remaining within sight of the rear of the midfield for a handful of laps before slipping back. He kept the Sauber drivers at bay but fell behind following his pit-stop. Di Resta, who endured the wrath of Kimi Räikkönen while being lapped, ran around at the back before he was forced into retirement during the final stages due to an oil leak.