The Williams Martini Racing team would consider bringing Paul di Resta into their driving line-up full-time in the future after impressing them during his last-minute Hungarian Grand Prix performance ahead of the summer break.
The Scot stepped into the seat ahead of qualifying at the Hungaroring after Felipe Massa withdrew due to illness, and despite not having driven the FW40 before on track, he managed to avoid qualifying last, improving with every lap to qualify nineteenth ahead of Marcus Ericsson.
Despite retiring late in the race due to an oil leak, di Resta showed well, with Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe admitting that he would be considered for a drive with the team should a seat become available.
“I noticed that Mercedes said they might give him the same call, and that’s the situation,” said Lowe. “We’re very open-minded about what we’re going to do for next year anyway. Being open-minded, we’ll consider all options.”
It di Resta fails to find a seat in Formula 1, and following the decision for his Mercedes employers to withdraw from the DTM Series at the end of 2017 coupled with the decline in entries in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the racing options are becoming more limited for drivers with an eye on moving into Formula 1.
“We’ve got a bit of a problem on the horizon with a lack of destinations for drivers that don’t quite make it into Formula 1,” said Lowe.
“We have unfortunately got the prospect of less destinations for accomplished drivers in the future with the position of LMP1 and DTM, which are really two of the next tier motorsports for conscious Formula 1 drivers.”