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Paul di Resta replaces unwell Massa for Hungarian Grand Prix

HUNGARORING -- Williams reserve driver Paul di Resta is set for a shock first appearance in Formula One since 2013 as Felipe Massa's stand-in after the Brazilian was taken ill ahead of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Massa visited the circuit medical centre after complaining of dizziness during Friday's second practice session. He was then taken to the MH EK Honvédkórház hospital to complete precautionary checks, but was cleared to compete in FP3 by the FIA's medical delegate ahead of the Saturday morning session.

Paul Di Resta of Williams. Martini/Sutton Images
However, the Brazilian driver completed just 12 laps, with the team later confirming his session ended prematurely as he was feeling unwell again.

Di Resta, Williams' reserve driver, will therefore step in for the Brazilian driver and compete in qualifying. He has not appeared in an F1 race since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Scotsman, cousin of three-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti, beat Sebastian Vettel to the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2006 but failed to carve out a successful F1 career. He made 58 starts in three seasons for Force India but never recorded a podium finish, finishing fourth on two occasions. After being dropped by Force India at the end of 2013 he returned to the DTM series he won in 2010.

Though he has not driven the latest generation of F1 car, he drove a 2014 Williams at the team's 40th anniversary event at Silverstone earlier this year. Williams has confirmed Di Resta will carry the number 40 on his car, which is the team's designated reserve driver number.

The team released a statement saying Massa made the decision to withdraw from the event himself after FP3 and that the team's focus is now on ensuring he can compete in the Belgian Grand Prix after August's summer break.

Williams told Sky Sports: "Unfortunately Felipe is not well enough to take part in the rest of the race weekend for us, so Paul Di Resta, our reserve driver will be filling in for him. Felipe, as you all know, fell unwell at the end of FP2 yesterday. He went for some tests in the medical centre and then was taken to a local hospital. They cleared him this morning in order to take part in FP3 but as you saw he withdrew early from that session, still feeling unwell and dizzy.

"So the team has taken the decision with Felipe that he won't be taking part in qualifying or the race tomorrow. He's suffering from some vertigo following a problem with something in his ears so I'm not exactly sure of the medical terminology of it, but obviously he needs to go for some further investigations, which he will do after this grand prix."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20189349/paul-di-resta-replaces-unwell-massa-hungarian-grand-prix

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