Paul di Resta will serve as the McLaren Formula 1 team’s ‘standby driver’ for this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

In the event of either of its regular drivers Carlos Sainz or Lando Norris being ruled out of a race weekend, McLaren has an agreement to share Mercedes’ reserves Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez.

But with Vandoorne currently on Formula E duties at the 2019-20 season finale in Berlin, and with Gutierrez ineligible to race due to not qualifying for a superlicence, McLaren has moved to secure the services of ex-Force India racer di Resta.

The current Sky Sports F1 pundit underwent a seat fitting at McLaren’s Woking factory on Wednesday prior to this weekend’s second race at Silverstone and has subsequently been nominated as the British outfit’s reserve driver.

"As we have previously confirmed, we have an arrangement with Mercedes to use their reserve drivers in the event either Carlos or Lando are unable to race," a statement from McLaren read.

"With Stoffel Vandoorne unavailable due to his Formula E commitments and Esteban Gutierrez currently not eligible for a superlicence, Paul di Resta will be our standby driver this weekend.

"Paul carried out a seat fit at the MTC this morning in compliance with the FIA COVID-19 protocols but will not be in close contact with the McLaren race team unless needed.

"Paul will continue his duties with Sky Sports F1 this weekend as planned."

Di Resta, who raced for Force India between 2011 and 2013, still holds a valid superlicence following his surprise appearance driving for Williams at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, when he stood in for the ill Felipe Massa.

Racing Point - which also shares the Mercedes reserves - was unable to use Gutierrez and had to instead call upon Nico Hulkenberg at the British Grand Prix as replacement for Sergio Perez, who became the first F1 driver to be ruled out of a race weekend after the Mexican tested positive for COVID-19.

Following the British Grand Prix, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff confirmed that Gutierrez is required to complete 300km of track running to earn his race license back with his last F1 outing coming at the end of 2016 with Haas.

 

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