After a quiet winter for the experienced 32-year-old, Adrian Sutil has kept his formula one dream alive.

Some Le Mans rumours and a low-profile legal dispute with Sauber aside, little has been heard from Sutil since the German's 2015 contract was not honoured by the struggling Swiss team.

But on Thursday, the British outfit Williams announced that it has signed the veteran of more than 100 grands prix as its new reserve driver.

Two weeks ago in Australia, Williams had to admit it did not have an official reserve on the books.

So when Valtteri Bottas  was injured, despite early speculation tester Susie Wolff might get the nod, it was believed Mercedes' Pascal Wehrlein was put on standby for Malaysia.

Bottas has recovered, but it is at the scene of Sunday's Sepang circuit race that Williams in fact announced Sutil as its new official reserve.

The German then strolled into the hot Malaysian paddock wearing team gear and had a seat fitting in Bottas' cockpit.

If Finn Bottas' back problems recur on Friday, the team will have enough time to get Sutil up to speed so that Williams is not once again reduced to a points-sapping one-car outfit for the race.

"The fight for a top constructors' championship position will be intense this season," said team boss Sir Frank Williams, "therefore we have selected a driver with recent race experience and are confident that if the need arose, he would be a solid pair of hands to race the FW37 and assist our 2015 campaign."

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