Bathgate’s Paul Di Resta will take another step towards a move up to Formula One when he tests a GP2 car — the official feeder series for F1 — for the Mercedes-powered ART team at Paul Ricard in France on Thursday.
It will be the first time since the 22-year-old Scot has driven a single-seater since he clinched the European Formula 3 Championship at Hockenheim in 2006.
“It’s all part of my continuing excellent relationship with Mercedes-Benz,” Di Resta, who heads to the penultimate round of the German Touring car Championship at Le Mans in 10 days lying second in the championship just seven points off the lead, explained today.
“It’s an opportunity which has come up out of the blue. I’ve had a seat fitting to ensure I can fit into the car, so it will be good to see just exactly a GP2 car is capable of.”
Di Resta — who won his second DTM race of the season two days ago at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona from third on the grid — has impressed Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug, a key member of the team which has guided Lewis Hamilton to the top of the championship in F1.
“Paul drove a great race and took our fifth victory in the ninth race of the season at the weekend,” Haug said. “With two races to go, the championship remains open and I think Paul and Timo will fight it out hard and fair, hopefully in the final race in Hockenheim.” And Di Resta reflected further on the title race.
“It’s going to be tough, simply because Timo is excellent at finishing races and being on the podium,” the talented young Scot continued. “He’s a very professional racer who knows how to win championships.
“But I’m certainly not giving up on the championship. We won’t be changing our approach to the remaining two races. We’ll be going there to start from pole position and win each of the final two races. We’ve simply got to score as many points as possible and hope Timo has a bit of bad luck.”