Bathgate’s Paul di Resta flies to Bahrain today knowing, despite the team’s plans, he won’t drive the Force India car ahead of Sunday’s opening grand prix of the season.
The 23-year-old, as the team’s reserve and test driver, had been expected to drive the all-new VJM03 race car during Friday’s official practice session. But because of changes to the Sakhir circuit both race drivers, Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi, will now take part in the session.
“Sure it’s disappointing,” Di Resta said today as he prepared for his flight to Bahrain via Amsterdam, “but obviously it’s far more important for both the race drivers to learn the layout of the track.
“Of course I would have loved to have driven the car on the first day of the new season, but this is where everyone, me included, needs to remember I’m part of a Formula One team.
“We’re all in this together, making sure we deliver the best results for the team. This weekend, because of the new changes to the circuit, Adrian and Tonio need to spend every minute they have to learn how to maximise their speed through the new section.
“We’ll all walk the track on Thursday, so at least I’ll see what changes they’ve made. From what I’ve heard they’ve made it much longer and slower; I think the tweak has resulted in seven new corners.
“That isn’t exactly what you want as an F1 driver. But we’ll wait to see exactly what they’ve done when we see it when we walk round on Thursday.”
Di Resta, who will attend all the driver briefings and debriefings throughout the weekend as part of his full blown introduction into the heady world of Formula One, will now drive the race car for the first time in Melbourne on Friday, March 26, ahead of the Australia Grand Prix.