Paul di Resta F1 qualifying performance unbelievable - Toto Wolff

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says his DTM driver Paul di Resta did an "unbelievable job" in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying standing in for the unwell Felipe Massa at Williams

Paul di Resta F1 qualifying performance unbelievable - Toto Wolff

Di Resta had not driven the Mercedes-powered FW40 before qualifying, although he has had very limited experience of the 2014 car used for Lance Stroll's test programme.

The 31-year-old, who last raced in F1 for Force India in 2013, qualified 19th ahead of Sauber's Marcus Ericsson and lapped only 0.766s slower than Stroll having run just five flying laps in Q1.

"Unbelievable job, honestly," said Wolff when asked by Autosport about di Resta's performance.

"To be put in this car in qualifying, never having driven it, having done a handful of laps in a 2014 car to give some comparison for Lance, and driving a touring car regularly.

"And he's been catapulted into an F1 car, and is within seven-tenths of his team-mate, and doesn't look ridiculous at all, is a major achievement.

"I'm really happy for Paul, because that was, in my opinion, against all odds."

Wolff also suggested di Resta would be considered as a reserve driver should Mercedes need a last-minute replacement.

Although the team does have access to Pascal Wehrlein under his Sauber deal, Saturday would be too late for the German to be moved across.

Asked who Mercedes would use in such circumstances he said: "It's a good question. Probably after today, Paul."

Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe described di Resta's qualifying as an "incredible performance".

Di Resta admitted he surprised himself with his showing in a car he had only tried in the simulator.

"I was getting thrown right in at the deep end and it's not like you've even got a free practice session to get up there," said di Resta.

"You're straight in with guys who are at the top of their game, and at the point in the year when they're at the summer break fighting for contracts and they are probably at their best."

Di Resta said Williams did a good job to make his qualifying session straightforward, and that played a part in him being able to perform well.

"They gave me as much as they could, they simplified it as best as they could and it ran smoothly - the driving felt good," he said.

"It was about first timed lap, third timed lap with a cool-off in the middle and it was just about gaining mileage.

"The times were coming down by seconds to being with, then six, seven-tenths and still improving.

"The main thing was making sure I was in the right place, following the right instructions."

shares
comments
Lewis Hamilton: Ferrari will have 'easy breeze' to Hungarian GP win

Previous article

Lewis Hamilton: Ferrari will have 'easy breeze' to Hungarian GP win

Next article

McLaren eyes September deadline for 2018 F1 engine decision

McLaren eyes September deadline for 2018 F1 engine decision
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021