Di Resta makes Formula One return after Massa is taken ill

Bill Rogers
July 30, 2017

But instead Di Resta, who is Williams' reserve driver, filled in at 90 minutes' notice for Felipe Massa, who felt dizzy during practice.

Asked about stand-in Di Resta, who hasn't raced in F1 since 2013, Williams said there were no expectations on the 31-year-old's shoulders.

"He felt unwell again during FP3 (third practice) and has made the decision to withdraw from the weekend", said the team.

'Williams supports Felipe's decision and the team will work with him to ensure he makes a full recovery, with a view to return to the race track for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Williams reserve driver di Resta, who had been put on standby overnight, has been given the nod to take over the auto for qualifying. The last of his 58 F1 races was the Brazilian GP in November 2013. He was cleared to take part in Practice Three on Saturday morning but completed just 12 laps before abandoning his running.

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Paul Di Resta turned up to the Hungaroring on Saturday morning, expecting to be in the Sky Sports commentary box.

Di Resta was seen heading into the Williams trucks during the session and the team appeared to be changing the pedals in Massa's auto - Di Resta is a much taller man than Massa and would need such a change.

"I have just sat with Paul di Resta while he was trying to have some lunch".

"You're very anxious. Nervous but very excited. He's suffering from some vertigo following a problem with something in his ears so I'm not exactly sure of the medical terminology of it, but obviously he needs to go for some further investigations, which he will do after this grand prix".

Williams said that modifying the auto for di Resta was not a big issue. Felipe, as you all know, fell unwell at the end of FP2 yesterday. In fact, it was the first time in my experience having to swap a driver out during a race weekend. You just have to get in the auto and do the best job possible. The team prepared me as best as they could.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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