Formula One team Force India have confirmed that Paul Di Resta will join the team as their test and reserve driver for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. The announcement was made at the principal sponsors of the team, Whyte and Mackay, at their headquarters in Glasgow.
23 year old Paul, impressed the team when he tested with them in a 3 day test at Jerez, Spain in December, and will attend all the races on the 2010 calendar with the team planning to run him in a number of the Friday practice sessions so Paul can get a full understanding of the VJM03.
Paul will also have a programme in the DTM Touring Car series. His F1 programme and DTM programme will have duel purposes, so Paul can learn the current tracks on the F1 calendar as well as keeping up his racing skills sharp.
Chairman and Team Principle of Force India Formula One Team, Dr Vijay Mallya commented on the announcement 'I would like to thank both Paul and JR Hildebrand for their commitment in the test in Jerez. Both worked very hard and were impressive in the test. We are very proud to have someone of Paul’s calibre joining the team as his potential was clear in the test and he has the right attitude for making it in F1. The programme we have put together will allow him to get to grips with the car, the team and the environment and various pressures associated with F1 and we look forward to this becoming a very fruitful partnership.’
Paul is understandably delighted at the announcement that he's joining a Formula One team, Paul said about the announcement 'I am ecstatic to finally get the chance to move into F1 at last. I’m pleased I can start my F1 career with Force India, a team that has a lot of potential. I see this move as taking me one step closer to achieving my dream of racing in F1 but I know I have a lot to learn in terms of the car and the tracks right now. I think this programme is a perfect way to prepare fully and be ready to go if and when the chance of a race seat comes. I hope this will be the start of a long-term future with Force India. With the support of all of the team, including Whyte & Mackay, I’m sure we will grow together.”
Whyte and Mackay's Chief Executive John Beard added ‘Whyte & Mackay is proud of its global association with Force India and we are excited about the upcoming F1 season. It’s an added thrill for a Scotch whisky brand to see a talented Scottish driver achieve his Formula One ambitions. We welcome Paul to the team and look forward to working with him towards a successful season in 2010.’
The opening race of the 2010 Formula One season is in Bahrain on the 12th to the 14th March, while the DTM season starts at Hockenheim on the23rd to the 25th April.