McLaren has lined up Paul di Resta as its standby driver for this weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix due to issues with its original reserve drivers.
Like Racing Point, McLaren has an agreement in place with Mercedes to use either of its reserve drivers if required, as the defending champions have Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez listed. However, Vandoorne is unable to fill in at present due to clashes with Formula E’s six-race season finale in Berlin, and the recent situation surrounding Sergio Perez highlighted the fact that Gutierrez is not currently in possession of an FIA Super License.
Racing Point opted to replace Perez — who tested positive for COVID-19 last week — with Nico Hulkenberg at last weekend’s British Grand Prix and will again turn to the German if Perez is not cleared to return to racing in time for the second race at Silverstone. So McLaren has had to organize a different standby driver and has turned to former Force India driver di Resta.
The Scot will be on site at Silverstone as part of his role as a pundit and commentator for Sky Sports, but has been to the McLaren Technology Centre for a seat fit and followed all the required COVID protocols to race if required.
A McLaren spokesperson says di Resta “will not be in close contact with the McLaren race team unless needed,” with his services only required should Carlos Sainz or Lando Norris be unable to drive.