Force India Jerez test line-up

FORCE INDIA ANNOUNCES YOUNG DRIVER TEST LINE-UP The Force India Formula One Team is delighted to confirm a dynamic, exciting driver line-up for the young driver test from 1 - 3 December 2009. Upcoming British driver Paul di Resta and current...

FORCE INDIA ANNOUNCES YOUNG DRIVER TEST LINE-UP

The Force India Formula One Team is delighted to confirm a dynamic, exciting driver line-up for the young driver test from 1 - 3 December 2009. Upcoming British driver Paul di Resta and current Indy Lights champion American JR Hildebrand will share driving duties of the VJM02 for the test in Jerez, Spain next week.

Twenty-three year old Paul and 21-year old JR were selected after outstanding performances in the team's simulator last month.

Paul, from West Lothian, Scotland, is a Mercedes works driver in the German touring car series, the DTM, and finished third overall with one win in the 2009 championship. He also has an impressive record in the junior formulae, winning the 2006 Formula 3 Euroseries against a field including current F1 race winner Sebastian Vettel. In 2004 Paul was awarded the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award for upcoming, stand-out young British racing talent.

JR, from California, USA, has quickly risen to prominence on the American racing scene thanks to impressive results in the junior formula and, most recently, his victory in Indy Lights, the feeder series to the USA's premier racing championship. In 2006 he secured the Formula Ford 2000 championship title and in 2007 was the top placed US rookie in the Atlantic championship.

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal of Force India, commented, 'We are delighted to have Paul and JR join us for the young driver test. Both of their showings in the simulator were excellent and we had no hesitations in offering them some valuable testing. We will be looking at their performance on track very closely and should they perform well, as we are confident they will, we will look at a permanent role for one within the team in 2010, potentially as a test and reserve driver. As a young team we are looking for drivers who can grow with us. As we've always said, nationality isn't the primary selection criteria - it's talent and dedication to the cause and we have seen enough to know that these two have both.'

Paul di Resta added, 'I am thrilled to be joining Force India for this test. It's been a while since I last tested an F1 car but I've been working hard in the simulator and giving it my all in the DTM so I'm confident I'll be up to speed quickly. It's an exciting opportunity for me as F1 has always been my dream and I feel this is taking me one step closer to achieving it. I'm realistic that I've got a lot to prove and that I need a bit more experience of the cars and the F1 environment before getting a permanent seat but this is just the beginning of what I hope will be a very bright future with Force India. I'd like to thank Mercedes for giving me this opportunity and to Force India for being so supportive.'

JR Hildebrand said, 'I'm ecstatic to get my first taste of F1. I've heard so much about the performance of the cars and know this is going to be quicker and more responsive than anything I've ever sat in before. I know it's a big challenge but I feel ready to tackle it. The aim is to learn the track and the car and then hopefully show my potential. As an American we don't necessarily have the culture of F1 but anything that's so impressive and cutting-edge demands respect. I hope I can do the car and myself justice. Thanks to everyone for making this happen, I can't wait to get to Jerez.'

-credit: force india

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul di Resta , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Force India