Hungary GP: Paul di Resta replaces unwell Felipe Massa for Williams

30 July, 2017, 01:19 | Author: Randy Kelley
  • After feeling unwell Felipe Massa has been given the all-clear for today's final practise session ahead of further checks

Williams reserve driver Paul di Resta is set for a shock first appearance in Formula One since 2013 as Felipe Massa's stand-in after the Brazilian was taken ill ahead of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

'Felipe visited the medical centre and the MH EK Honvedkorhaz hospital for precautionary tests on Friday, after feeling unwell and dizzy during FP2.

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.

He drove in 58 Grand Prix for the Silverstone outfit, with a best result of fourth place in the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix and 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Paul Di Resta turned up to the Hungaroring on Saturday morning, expecting to be in the Sky Sports commentary box. He was cleared to take part in Saturday's final session before qualifying but ended it early.

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"I've not driven one of these cars for three-and-a-half years, apart from 10 laps I did in a 2014 auto, and then you get thrown into qualifying which is the deepest of all deep ends - it's like jumping off a cliff and seeing how you fight for survival".

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

Deputy team principal Claire Williams confirmed Massa was feeling unwell again but refused to comment on what would happen. "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". You just have to get in the auto and do the best job possible. "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". In fact, it was the first time in my experience having to swap a driver out during a race weekend. However, he was ready to go the moment we took the decision and it was very fearless of him to go out for his first time in the 2017 generation of F1 cars, along with the new tyres and aero package, to be thrown straight into a competitive session.

I think Felipe Massa is more upset than anything else.

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