Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe says the team is open to considering Paul di Resta for a return to F1 next season following an eye-catching performance during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

 

More than three years since his last F1 race outing, Di Resta was called up to drive the Williams FW40 only 90 minutes prior to qualifying in place of the unwell Felipe Massa.

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Despite having no experience of the new specification chassis and only completing a handful of laps in a V6 Hybrid Toro Rosso in 2014, Di Resta acquitted himself well to qualify 19th – seven tenths behind Lance Stroll – and enjoy solid race pace prior to a technical DNF.

 

It was an effort that has left Williams impressed, with Lowe suggesting di Resta – who is racing in the DTM with Mercedes - could well find himself in the running for a return to full-time action in 2018.

 

“We’re very open-minded about what we’re going to do for next year anyway. Being open-minded, we’ll consider all options,” Lowe said.

 

“I think he’s done his reputation no end of good this weekend. I noticed that Mercedes said they might give him the same call, and that’s the situation.

 

“We have unfortunately got the prospect of less destinations for accomplished drivers in the future with the position of LMP1 and DTM, which are really two of the next tier motorsports for conscious Formula 1 drivers.

 

“We’ve got a bit of a problem on the horizon with a lack of destinations for drivers that don’t quite make it into Formula 1.

 

With Stroll almost certainly set to remain with the team, there remains a question mark over whether it will keep Massa after he re-joined Williams to replace Mercedes-bound Valtteri Bottas having originally planned to retire.

 

It is understood Williams is considering keeping Massa for another season in part because of the good relationship he has with Stroll and the experience he can impart to the youngster.