Mercedes GP have announced that Sam Bird will drive for the team at the young driver test that will be held in Abu Dhabi in November.
The 23-year-old Briton currently races in GP2 for ART Grand Prix, and will be in Abu Dhabi during the final race of the Formula 1 season as he also completes his 2010 campaign. He will then drive for Mercedes GP in the test, which takes place on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 November.
Sam is currently fifth in the GP2 standings in his rookie year, having taken one victory and four podiums. He has previously tasted F1 machinery for the Williams team, when he conducted aerodynamic tests back in 2007.
Mercedes GP Team Principal Ross Brawn said that he was looking forward to working with Sam during the test. “Sam has done an impressive job in the GP2 Series during his first season,” he explained. “We are very pleased that Sam will be joining Mercedes GP Petronas for the Young Driver test next month and are confident that he will provide the team with the essential consistency and feedback we require. This is also an excellent chance for Sam to continue his progression in motorsport and widen his experience of Formula One. Sam has been chosen due to his relevant current single-seater pedigree through his competition in GP2, the F3 Euro Series and British F3 and as an added bonus, he will have experience of the track from his GP2 racing over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. We look forward to working with Sam at the test and to seeing his progress and feedback over the two days.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport added: “For the upcoming Young Driver test days in Abu Dhabi, it was important for us to find a young and talented driver with single-seater and preferably GP2 experience. Sam Bird, who competed in the F3 Euro Series last year with our DTM partner team MÃ¼cke Motorsport before he progressed to the ART team in GP2, who are also partners with Mercedes-Benz in F3, fulfils these requirements. With the experience that Sam will gain during the GP2 races in Abu Dhabi, I am sure he will be well prepared for the test.”
Mercedes GP are currently without a test and reserve driver after Nick Heidfeld left the role to work with Pirelli, and subsequently Sauber. The team ran Mike Conway and Marcus Ericsson in last year's young driver test.