Di Resta was ‘scared, anxious and nervous’

Date published: July 29 2017

Williams reserve driver Paul di Resta reflected on a whirlwind afternoon in Hungary after swapping commentary duty for the cockpit of the FW40.

Di Resta was due to commentate on qualifying and the race for Sky Sports, but was thrown in at the deep end by Williams after Felipe Massa was deemed to unwell to continue after a brief FP3 outing.

The Scot, who has only driven 10 laps of a 2014 Williams car in three-and-a-half years, qualified P19 for Sunday's race – quicker than Sauber's Marcus Ericsson – and described the whole event as "absolutely unreal".

"I'm not going to lie, I was scared, nervous, anxious," Di Resta told Sky Sports F1.

"I've not driven one of these cars for three-and-a-half years, apart from 10 laps I did in a 2014 car, and then you get thrown into qualifying which is the deepest of all deep ends – it's like jumping off a cliff and seeing how you fight for survival."

Di Resta, though, then said he quickly accustomed with the car, despite never driving the vastly quicker 2017 car before.

He added: "Honestly I felt quite comfortable quite quickly. As soon as I let go of the pit limiter it was kind of there and I was improving by half a second a lap. There is still plenty of potential there.

"These cars are top of their game and it's like being back at home driving the best balanced car you've ever driven. The team prepared me as best as they could. It was absolutely unreal.

"I was very safe in the high speed and a bit safe on exit. I could have stepped on the loud pedal a bit quicker but the pedal stroke is so much longer than I'm used to and there are an extra two gears to downshift. It's about getting your bearings again."