Paul Di Resta has been substituted in as a last-minute replacement for Felipe Massa, who is unwell. This will be the first time the Scotsman has driven an F1 car in a race since 2013, and it will be his first start for Williams.
Di Resta had a lot of success when he did drive, finishing as high as 4th for Force India. However, he struggled to find a drive from 2014 onwards. He faces a tough challenge, as he has never driven a 2017 spec formula one car, and will not even be able to take part in free practice, which has already happened. Claire Williams said sheis fully asware of the difficult challenge, but she has confidence in the 31-year old.
“Of course it’s going to be tough. He hasn’t had any practice, and he’s got to get straight into qualifying in an hour’s time.” She said. “I’m sure there are some nerves there, he hasn’t had much time to get ready, but I have utter confidence in him that if anyone ca do this, Paul can. There are a few changes to make inside the cockpit. Obviously Paul’s a little bit taller than Felipe, but they rehearsed it last night, and it takes about 40 minutes to make the changes. Paul has his licence, that’s all sorted, and obviously in preparation last night we knew that potentially this could be an option for us. So we made sure everything was in place.”