Paul di Resta will make his first Grand Prix weekend appearance at the upcoming Australian GP as Force India’s Friday test driver, the team has announced.
The Scot was confirmed as the team’s test and reserve driver on the eve of its official launch of the VJM03 car, and is now set to take over driving duties in one of the race drivers’ cockpits in the 90-minute free practice sessions on the Fridays of most Grand Prix weekends.
One assumes that the team will alternate between its drivers – Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi – to relinquish their cars for the day.
Di Resta will become the first Scottish driver to participate in a Grand Prix since David Coulthard’s final race appearance for Red Bull at the 2008 Brazilian GP.
While we welcome the opportunity to see another driver show their stuff and potentially gain the chance to secure a permanent race drive with either Force India or another team, his presence in one of the cockpits nonetheless costs one of the primary drivers valuable track time, and this could actually be a handicap for the team.
Will other teams follow suit and showcase their test drivers in Friday practice sessions?