Bathgate’s Paul di Resta was left disappointed after he was told he would not, as expected, drive the Force India Formula One car in Friday’s first practice session ahead of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
The 24-year-old Scot, who impressed the team when he drove the track on the team’s simulator last week, had been eagerly looking to testing the F1 car on a circuit he has deep knowledge of having competed there in the DTM Championship with Mercedes.
“Yeh, was looking forward to it because it’s the only track I was scheduled to drive this year which I have raced on before,” he explained today before heading to catch his plane to Germany, “but the team’s plans have changed.
“Tyre supplier Bridgestone are bringing its super-soft and hard tyres to Germany, and that means there’s a significant difference in grip between the two compounds. Because of that, race drivers Adrian (Sutil) and Tonio (Liuzzi) need all the time they can get in the car.
“Obviously it’s a shame but I completely understand the decision. The drivers and the engineers need to understand the performance of the two tyre compounds fully.
“It’s a decision which has been taken relatively late, but it’s better to err on the side of caution at such a crucial stage in the season. The team is performing well but other teams are also making steps forward so we need to have as much information as possible to get every performance advantage we can.
“Hockenheim is a track I know well from the DTM and I was looking forward to getting out there in the F1 car, but it’s a team effort and I am sure I can put some of the knowledge I have back into the overall weekend.”
Di Resta, Force India’s test and reserve driver who is taking part in the majority of Friday morning sessions at grands prix this year, will return to test action at the next race in Hungary in 10 days where he will again replace Liuzzi.
This weekend though he will still take part in the full Force India programme helping out with meetings, being on the pitwall and picking up as much information as he can as he builds the knowledge which will see him promoted to a full race seat for 2011.