Paul di Resta will make a surprise return to the Formula 1 grid this weekend after being called up to replace the unwell Felipe Massa in the Williams Martini Racing team.

The British driver has not competed in F1 since 2013 following three seasons with Force India and is yet to drive the latest specification cars equipped with the V6 Hybrid engines in anger.

Nevertheless, having been signed to Williams as its reserve driver since the start of 2016, di Resta will get a surprise opportunity to compete again in the latest FW40 after Massa was taken ill following Friday free practice.

Though Massa was passed fit to drive again in FP3, he ended the session early after just 12 laps.

As such, Massa will sit out the remainder of the weekend, paving the way for di Resta - who has competed in DTM since 2014 - to take his place despite having only the qualifying session to get up to speed.

"After feeling unwell during practice in Budapest on Friday and Saturday, Felipe Massa will not drive for the remiander of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

"Felipe visited the medical centre and the MH EK Honvedkorhaz hospital for precautionary tests on Friday, after feeling unwell and dizzy during FP2. He was cleared to take part in Saturday's practice session by the FIA medical delegate, but he felt unwell again during FP3 and has made the decision to withdraw from the weekend.

"Williams supports Felipe's decision and the team will work with him to ensure he has made a full recovery, with a view to return to the track for the Belgian Grand Prix."

di Resta will still need to qualify within 107 per cent to ensure he can start the race.


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Did a very good job, only 0.7s down on Stroll.

Im genuinely excited by this.

It's a huge ask especially since it's straight into qualifying.

Shame for Massa, good luck this weekend Paul.

I am in Budapest at the race. Paul was great! His times improved each lap and he looked controlled. I think he could flirt with a points finish if the race goes well. And yes he was a good F1 driver, finishing as high as 7th in Hungary in a Force India. This outing could serve him well. I think Palmer will be gone after this race and Kyviat will be gone at season's end. Sauber boys are not endearing themselves to anyone. Massa might retire. Who knows? This could be a great opportunity for Paul.

He wasn't that good when he did race F1 which is why he was dropped and is unlikely to have improved since then and has not driven the new car. He will be lucky to get last place on the grid, quite why Williams retain him is beyond me, surely there are drivers around with experience of the new cars who have a future in F1.

Can't believe they couldn't find anyone better

The guy is an exceptional driver - just never had a top class car. Williams previous driver list should give you a hint that they know what they're doing to when hiring drivers !