Paul di Resta has been confirmed as Williams reserve driver for the 2016 F1 season, a role he will dovetail with a campaign in DTM for Mercedes.
Di Resta, who made his race debut with Force India in 2011, after winning the DTM Championship in 2010, competed in F1 for three seasons, with his best finishes of two fourth places. After being dropped by Force India in 2013, he returned to the DTM and will again compete in the German tin-top series in 2016, combining his efforts with his new role with Williams.
“I am delighted to be joining Williams as reserve driver and look forward to the 2016 season,” di Resta said. “It will be a busy year combining both driving in DTM with Mercedes AMG, and attending the Formula One Grands Prix in my new reserve driver role.
“I will be giving my full support to both and look forward to the exciting possibilities the year has ahead. I would like to thank Claire and Williams for the opportunity to be part of the team.”
Claire Williams is thrilled to secure a reserve with such experience in F1 and is confident if di Resta is needed he will be a reliable pair of hands in the FW38.
“We are delighted to welcome someone with Paul's experience to the team,” Williams said. “Having competed in 58 Formula One races throughout his career Paul's racing knowledge will be invaluable. We are also confident that given his recent Formula One and current DTM experience Paul will be able to confidently step into the FW38 and assist with our 2016 campaign.”
The Scottish driver's former Force India team-mate Adrian Sutil acted as Williams' third driver last season. Sutil was appointed when Valtteri Bottas injured his back in Australia. Sutil never got to race, however, as Bottas recovered in time to compete in the next grand prix alongside Felipe Massa.
Di Resta's appointment looks set to strengthen Williams' reserve line-up, which already includes GP2 pilot Alex Lynn and European Formula Three man Lance Stroll, both under contract as development drivers.