Ex-Force India driver Di Resta on standby as McLaren reserve for 70th Anniversary GP
Former Force India driver turned pundit Paul Di Resta is ready to dust off his racing boots if required at this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, after McLaren put him on standby should they require a reserve driver.
Teams have moved to put reserve options in place given a positive Covid-19 test result would rule a race driver out of an event, as happened when Sergio Perez tested positive last week, with Racing Point drafting in Nico Hulkenberg for the British GP.
The British team have an arrangement with Mercedes, who will return as their engine supplier next year, to use their reserve drivers – Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez – should Carlos Sainz or Lando Norris be unable to race.
However, Vandoorne is unavailable due to his Formula E commitments and Gutierrez is currently not eligible for a superlicence, leaving McLaren to line up Di Resta as their standby driver this weekend.
McLaren said Di Resta carried out a seat fit at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking this morning in readiness. With Covid-19 protocols in place, McLaren added he will not be in close contact with the McLaren race team unless needed.
In the meantime, he will continue his TV duties with Sky Sports F1 this weekend.
Di Resta last drove a Formula 1 car back in the summer of 2017 when, as Williams' reserve, he stood in for an unwell Felipe Massa in Hungary.
The 34-year-old completed the last of his three full F1 seasons in 2013, nearly six-and-a-half years ago. Over 59 F1 starts, he has a best finish of fourth, which he achieved twice.