Toto Wolff felt Paul di Resta did an ‘unbelievable job’ during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix after running his very first laps in the FW40 during the session.
Di Resta stepped into the Williams Martini Racing team’s line-up at the Hungaroring when Felipe Massa withdrew due to illness, with the Scot getting within eight-tenths of a second of team-mate Lance Stroll despite not having driven the 2017 car before on track.
Wolff, the Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport who runs di Resta in the DTM Series, was delighted that the thirty-one-year-old had the opportunity to race in Hungary, and felt that getting so close to his team-mate was a great effort under the circumstances.
“Unbelievable job, honestly,” said Wolff. “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 believes the opportunity this weekend could open doors in the future for a full-time race return for di Resta into Formula 1, with the Scot having been away from the sport since the end of 2013.
“I think everything is possible,” said Wolff. “Let’s see how he does tomorrow in the race. He’s a very decent driver, you can see that in DTM. If this can be a relaunch of his F1 career, I would be the first one to cheer.”