Paul Di Resta
Williams have announced that Paul Di Resta will join the team as official reserve driver for the new Formula One season which gets under way in Melbourne this weekend.
The 29-year-old former Force India racer takes on the role behind drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa and he will initially spend time getting fully accustomed to the controls and procedures of the Williams Mercedes FW38.
He told williamsf1.com: “I am delighted to be joining Williams as reserve driver and look forward to the 2016 season.”
The Scot enjoyed three seasons at Force India from 2011-2013, amassing 121 world championship points from 58 starts.
Di Resta lost his seat the following season so re-joined the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) touring car racing series, where he raced early in his career, competing for Mercedes, and he hopes to combine his role there with the new one at Williams.
He added: “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 (deputy team principal) Claire (Williams) and Williams for the opportunity to be part of the team.”
The 2006 European Formula 3 champion joins the British team, who have enjoyed two third-place finishes in the constructors’ standings over the past two seasons, ahead of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.
Claire Williams said: “We are delighted to welcome someone with Paul’s experience to the team.
“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.”