Williams' Paddy Lowe has revealed that the team is considering Paul di Resta for a drive at the team for next season. This follows an impressive performance from the Scotsman at the Hungarian Grand Prix where he stood in for Felipe Massa who fell ill during the weekend.
90 minutes before qualifying, di Resta was called up to drive the Williams FW40. Having no experience of driving a car with a new specification 2017 chassis and having limited running in a car powered by a V6 Hybrid power unit, di Resta looked set for a difficult session and a difficult weekend. However, he impressively qualified in 19th place, ahead of Sauber's Marcus Ericsson and was only seven tenths of a second slower than Lance Stroll. In the race he enjoyed a fairly competitive run before retiring with a technical issue.
This impressed Williams, and Paddy Lowe has since hinted that di Resta could make a return to F1 after being absent for three years. “We’re very open-minded about what we’re going to do for next year anyway. Being open-minded, we’ll consider all options,” he said. “I think he’s done his reputation no end of good this weekend. I noticed that Mercedes said they might give him the same call, and that’s the situation.
“We have unfortunately got the prospect of less destinations for accomplished drivers in the future with the position of LMP1 and DTM, which are really two of the next tier motorsports for conscious Formula 1 drivers," he added. “We’ve got a bit of a problem on the horizon with a lack of destinations for drivers that don’t quite make it into Formula 1."
With Stroll looking set to remain with the team for a second year, it is most likely Felipe Massa that di Resta could replace, although it is understood that Williams is considering keeping the Brazilian driver for another season because of the level of experience he can offer.