F1: Di Resta in Force India car for young driver test?

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarFriday, November 20th, 2009

 
 

Remember last year, when the F1 world couldn’t get enough of the idea of young Scots DTM star Paul di Resta stepping up to the top-flight series?

The 23-year-old Mercedes driver, a cousin of IRL champion Dario Franchitti, was widely tipped for a Force India drive after the team adopted the company’s engines. He also did some testing for McLaren under rules that allowed for extra mileage with a rookie in the car.

At the time he was vocal in his desire to try his hand at F1, but nothing came of it, and things have since been a bit quiet. Well, in open-wheel terms – he was DTM series runner-up in 2008 and he came third in 2009.

Now Swiss-German publication Motorsport Aktuell is reporting that the youngster is about to get behind the wheel of a Force India car as part of the young drivers’ test taking part at Jerez in Spain for three days from December 1 – although his name does not yet appear on the official Formula One website’s list of participants.

However, he is reported to have been to the team’s Silverstone HQ for a seat fitting.

Neel Jani, the Swiss-Indian former A1GP champion, is also said to be on the team’s list as well as a possible appearance from Ocean Racing’s GP2 competitor Karun Chandhok.

If di Resta does make it, he’ll be joining a host of motorsport talent from around the world – but will be the only UK driver taking part that we know about so far.

Ferrari will follow its usual policy of testing the best of the Italian F3 crop, which this year includes Italians Daniel Zampieri and Marco Zioli and the Mexican Pablo Sanchez Lopez. Jules Bianchi, Formula 3 Euroseries title holder will also appear for the team.

Formula Renault 3.5 victor Bertrand Baguette is testing for Renault; while F2 champion Andy Soucek collects his prize of a test with Williams.

Mirko Bortolotti will be in the car for Toro Rosso while BMW Sauber tries out American Alexander Rossi and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez. British Formula Three champion Daniel Ricciardo will appear for Red Bull.

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