Di Resta joins Williams F1posted in F114 | 03 | 2016

    SCOT PAUL DI RESTA has been named as Williams reserve driver for the 2016 Formula 1 season. The 29-year-old from Bathgate has also been snapped up as a pundit for Sky Sports F1.

    Di Resta — the 2010 German Touring Car (DTM) champ, and who raced in 58 F1 grands prix for Force india between 2011 and '13 — will dovetail his new F1 duties with a campaign for Mercedes in DTM.

    "I am delighted to be joining Williams as reserve driver and I'm looking forward to the 2016 season," Di Resta, who has already completed extensive simulator work to prepare himself should he be required to stand in for Valtteri Bottas or Felipe Massa.

    "Naturally 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, but it's something I've done before back in 2010.

    "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 Claire and Williams for the opportunity to be part of the team.”

    Di Resta's role mirrors that of fellow Scot David Coulthard who was reserve driver with Williams in 1994, and who then succeeded Ayrton Senna after the Brazilian was killed that year in the San Marino Grand Prix.

    Related: Di Resta's "best ever" year in F1

    Last year Williams, which is powered by Mercedes engines, finished third in the Constructors' Championship behind McLaren and Ferrari.

    Di Resta's new appointment is likely to be significant, with Bottas expected to replace fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2017 leaving a vacant seat for the Scot.

    Deputy team principal Claire Williams said: "Having competed in 58 Formula 1 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.”

    Di Resta's busy year will also see him appear as part of Sky F1's on-screen team, providing his expert analysis on Sky Sports F1 for a substantial number of races this season.

    "I'm very excited to be joining the Sky Sports F1 team," the Scot — who will join  aline-up which already includes three former F1 drivers, including 1996 world champion Damon Hill together with Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert — continued.

    "The coverage is excellent and I hope I can play my part to help excite and educate everyone watching at home.

    "It's a huge season, with more races than ever and working with both Williams and Sky Sports I'm going to give it everything and enjoy being part of an amazing sport that provides drama and excitement at every turn."

    Related: Di Resta court case settled

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    Jim McGill


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