Paul di Resta admitted he was surprised how competitive his qualifying performance was after returning to Formula One at short notice in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Di Resta substituted for Felipe Massa after the Williams driver fell ill and qualified 19th on the grid, 0.7 seconds slower than team mate Lance Stroll.
“It’s been a busy 18 hours,” said the Williams reserve driver. “I was ironing my shirt at 11 o’clock this morning preparing to be presenting on TV.”
Di Resta, who hadn’t driven the FW40 prior to qualifying said, “I quickly felt quite comfortable in the car.”
“There was nothing that took me by surprise, it’s just the more laps you can do, the better it is. Getting thrown straight into qualifying is the deepest of the deep ends.”
“To do it in four laps is a big ask, but honestly I didn’t expect to be so close straight away.”
Di Resta says he hasn’t deviated from any of the preparation work Massa had done. “I’ve carried on everything Felipe has done up until this session like the brake settings, the set-up and the steering wheel switches are all his, so of course it could be more optimised.”
“But there is more ability to progress in me, gaining the speed and confidence in the car. These cars are the most special thing you’ll ever drive. It’s a tough ask to go straight into qualifying, but that’s what it’s about and you take these opportunities.”
2017 Hungarian Grand Prix
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- 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix team radio transcript
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