The role of reserve driver for Force India is really going to mean something for young Scots hopeful and DTM star Paul di Resta, according to one F1 team principal.
Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren, who has links with the Silverstone team through a technical partnership and a shared engine supplier, says he expects to see the youngster out on track and learning his trade during Friday practice sessions throughout the 2010 season.
Di Resta has confirmed that he is in the final stages of negotiating a contract with Force India and added that he hopes to convince the team that he can do as good or better a job than one of its existing drivers in 2010.
Whitmarsh told Reuters: “Paul will be running I believe in the majority of the Friday sessions for Force India, so it’s a great opportunity for him. I’m happy for him.
“He’s going to push like hell to make his case to have a race drive at Force India during the course of this year.”
McLaren is also retaining the services of di Resta’s colleague in the Mercedes DTM team and long-time McLaren tester Gary Paffett as well as contemplating recruiting another tester.
In fact, Paffett will be the first to drive the MP4-25 at a test after Pedro de la Rosa, pencilled in for the task, accepted a race drive with the Sauber team.
Whitmarsh said: “Gary probably did 60 days in the simulator last year for us and he’ll do the same sort of number and maybe a bit more this year. But he’s got other commitments so we need another driver.
“We are seeing what’s happening at the moment. There’s no great panic. We are very confident in Gary; we’ve worked with and supported Gary for a number of years.”