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
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022