Illness sidelines WIlliams F1 driver Felipe Massa for Hungarian Grand Prix

Kristi Paul
July 30, 2017

Britain's Paul di Resta was drafted in as a replacement for unwell Brazilian Felipe Massa at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Williams have backed Massa's decision to pull out of the rest of the weekend, with reserve driver di Resta now set to have his first running during the qualifying session before his first race start in Formula 1 since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix when he raced for the Sahara Force India F1 Team.

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

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

Whatever happens to Di Resta in Sunday's Grand Prix, the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix will not be one he forgets in a hurry.

The Scot, who has only driven 10 laps of a 2014 Williams auto in three-and-a-half years, qualified P19 for Sunday's race - quicker than Sauber's Marcus Ericsson - and described the whole event as "absolutely unreal".

Di Resta was due to commentate for Sky F1 at the Hungaroring but swapped the commentary box for the cockpit at just 30 minutes' notice.

He was cleared to continue by the FIA medical delegate on Saturday and took to the track for the final practice session before qualifying.

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

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

Williams has confirmed Di Resta will carry the number 40 on his auto, which is the team's designated reserve driver number. I'm ready to pounce if he needs a stand in. You go straight in the deep end. However, he was ready to go the moment we took the decision and it was very courageous 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. You just have to get in the vehicle and do the job possible. "I hope I would do as good a job or better than anyone else".

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