Second season for Di Resta as Williams reserve

2017 F1 season

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Paul di Resta will remain Williams’ reserve driver for a second season, the team has announced.

Di Resta will remain on board as a back-up for new driver Lance Stroll and Felipe Massa.

Deputy team principal Claire Williams said it was “great for us to retain someone with Paul’s experience in the team”.

“His extensive Formula One knowledge will once again be invaluable, especially with new regulations in place for the 2017 season. Paul has been a great asset to the team over the past year and it is great that we will be able to continue working with him again in 2017.”

Di Resta, who raced in F1 for Force India between 2011 and 2013, returned to the DTM championship after losing his F1 race drive. He won the series in 2010.

“I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the controls and procedures of the FW40 and understanding the new regulations,” said Di Resta. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Claire and everyone at Williams for their continued support in being part of the team.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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22 comments on “Second season for Di Resta as Williams reserve”

  1. IMO He should have been given the race seat vacated by Bottas instead of Massa, but I’m OK with this line-up as well.

    1. I agree, although maybe Williams didn’t want the risk of putting somebody whose not raced for three years in the car in so short notice

      1. Jonathan O'Brien
        20th February 2017, 13:10

        Does Paul have enough points to be given a super license now?

        1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
          20th February 2017, 14:22

          No points necessary if you have already started at least a race in F1.

          1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
            21st February 2017, 19:07

            I think that might expire after 3 years

  2. Good news! How Exciting!

    1. I guess so, but must admit my brain thought “Good news, exciting how?

  3. i think this season DiResta would have been a better option for the race seat than Massa. No doubt Felipe was a much better driver in his hayday, but in 2017 the phisical aspect of the sport will be probably more important than skill, and Massa didn’t really look that fit in the last couple of years.

    From the crop of older drivers – Kimi is tough as nails, Fernando is pretty fit as well because he’s the “samurai” :)) – Massa seems the least able to keep up with a full race of 5s / lap faster cars and a lot higher G forces through corners.

  4. They had Paul as a reserve driver? Why didn’t when rosberg pulled out offer him a seat instead of getting massa back? I know massa is a know quantity and Williams will need that with moneybags stroll, but massa has not wowed anyone in a long time. But I think Williams are gunna fall down grid this year and bounce back next year

  5. Williams reserve driver should be up there on the list of most depressing job titles in the world.

    1. closely followed by “head of advertising” at McLaren

    2. Well.. they couldn’t have picked a sadder looking fellow for the most depressing job in the world. The guy has a constant case of misery and sadness

      1. Well, I would trade my job for his job without thinking, even if nowadays it’s for being paid to play simulators! (something which I already do for free on my free time!) :)

  6. Although he hasn’t raced in Formula One for a few years I really think that promoting Di Resta would have been a much better solution to the ‘Bottas problem’ than getting a clearly no-longer-good-enough Massa out of his month long retirement!

    Massa was a very fast driver in his day, but last year it was obvious that either his motivation had gone or he had lost a good few tenths. I think it was the latter. It’s now a lose-lose for Williams and Stroll. If Stroll beats Massa then “clearly it’s because Massa isn’t any good” and if Massa beats Stroll then “even Massa can beat him, he can’t be very good”…

    Di Resta was often close to the pace of Hulkenberg when they were in the Force India and would represent a far better choice than Massa. One of the most underwhelming line-ups I’ve seen in a long time, certainly at Williams (including Pastor Maldonado/Bruno Senna). Personally I would have done all I could to get Jean-Eric Vergne or Sebastien Buemi.

    1. @ben-n – I agree, this is a pointless ceremonial role for Paul when in all likelihood he could have done a better job than Massa. I think even Felipe Nasr would have been a better choice, because a drastic regulation change is only going to accelerate Massa’s decline.

      Why they turned down Wehrlein is a mystery to me; it’s probably a decision more to do with Martini’s qualms at an overly youthful driver line-up, and less to do with his driving capabilities.

      But really Williams have been quite rightly hamstrung by allowing a teenager to impose himself on them. Stroll should be racing a GP2 car this year, and Williams should be fielding some combination of Wehrlein/Di Resta/Gasly/Vergne/Nasr, but instead they are going to have to spend a season tutoring a driver who has never raced a car with more than 220bhp, and who is demonstrably not Max Verstappen. The fact that Stroll needs a teacher is the only justification for putting Massa in the car given the alternatives that are available, which in itself is admitting Lance is not fully ready for the drive.

  7. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    20th February 2017, 14:25

    I was never impressed by Di Resta, but I really agree with all the other comments here. When Massa was gone, he should have got his vacant seat. I don’t understand what the purpose of being “reserve” is, if you can’t fill the place of at least one official driver. Williams had both Massa and Bottas out, so who should be better than the guy who also collected hours in the simulator with them both?

  8. Personally I think he deserves another shot, more fire in his belly than Massa I’m sure.

  9. I hope this means less seat time in the Sky commentary box!

    1. Paul resting some where else Never in f 1 never will be as he knows.

  10. Richard Cantelo (@)
    21st June 2017, 21:05

    I f he was truly talented, a team would re-take him as a ‘star driver’

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