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Paul di Resta says he can be happy with his performance under the circumstances after stepping into a 2017 specification car for the first time ahead of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix and ending up only seven tenths behind his team-mate.

Williams reserve driver di Resta received a remarkably late call up just 90mins before qualifying after Felipe Massa - having been passed fit to compete in FP3 following dizzy spells after practice yesterday - decided he couldn't continue in his current state.

To compound this, di Resta came into the crucial session having only driven 10 laps in an F1 car since the end of 2013, when he last raced in F1.

On that occasion it was a Toro Rosso in 2014, but otherwise di Resta has never competed in the latest generation machines.

Nevertheless, despite getting only 11 laps in Q1 di Resta steadily built up his pace, achieving his first objective to get well within the 107 per cent qualifying time before then even picking up a spot at the expense of Marcus Ericsson to qualify 19th.

Arguably more impressively, he was just seven tenths shy of team-mate Lance Stroll who has previously raced and tested in Hungary, despite getting only the equivalent of three flying laps.

"Diving straight in, I am not going to lie I was scared, nervous, anxious...," he told Sky F1, with whom he would have been commentating for had he not been in the car.

"I haven't driven one of these cars for 3 and a half years apart from 10 laps I did in a 2014 car and you get thrown into qualifying which is the deepest of all deep, jumping off a cliff and seeing how you can fight for survival."

Improving by half a second per lap, di Resta points out he was using Massa's settings, suggesting there is 'plenty of potential' for improvement if he was given the chance.

"I felt quite comfortable quite quickly, but when I got of the pit limiter I built myself up slowly and was improving half a second a lap so there is plenty of potential there. From that you carry all of Felipe's brake and steering wheel settings, everything you try and work through a weekend to do, but it is difficult.

"These cars are top of their game and it is like being back at home driving the best balanced car you have ever driven. The team prepared me as best I could in an hour and a half."



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