Hildebrand and di Resta to test for Force India

British driver Paul di Resta and current Indy Lights champion American JR Hildebrand will share driving duties of the VJM02 for the test in Jerez, Spain next week. Twenty-three year old Paul and 21-year old JR were given a chance to use a simulator last week and the two came out as the best of the candidates.

Di Resta, from West Lothian, Scotland, is a Mercedes works driver in the German touring car series, the DTM, and finished third overall with one win in the 2009 championship. He also has an impressive record in the junior formulae, winning the 2006 Formula 3 Euroseries against a field including current F1 race winner Sebastian Vettel. In 2004 Paul was awarded the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year.

Hildebrand is from California and has to prominence on the American racing scene thanks to his victory in the Indy Lights series.

“It’s been a while since I last tested an F1 car but I’ve been working hard in the simulator and giving it my all in the DTM so I’m confident I’ll be up to speed quickly,” said Di resta. “It’s an exciting opportunity for me as F1 has always been my dream and I feel this is taking me one step closer to achieving it. I’m realistic that I’ve got a lot to prove and that I need a bit more experience of the cars and the F1 environment before getting a permanent seat but this is just the beginning of what I hope will be a very bright future with Force India. I’d like to thank Mercedes for giving me this opportunity and to Force India for being so supportive.”

Hildebrand has been mentioned as a possible driver with the USF1 team, but that may depend on funding.

“I’m ecstatic to get my first taste of F1. I’ve heard so much about the performance of the cars and know this is going to be quicker and more responsive than anything I’ve ever sat in before. I know it’s a big challenge but I feel ready to tackle it. The aim is to learn the track and the car and then hopefully show my potential. As an American we don’t necessarily have the culture of F1 but anything that’s so impressive and cutting-edge demands respect. I hope I can do the car and myself justice. Thanks to everyone for making this happen, I can’t wait to get to Jerez.”

21 thoughts on “Hildebrand and di Resta to test for Force India

  1. Joe, it’s ‘Hildebrand’ not ‘Hillebrand’!

    I hope someone will roll the F1 dice on di Resta, I reckon they could be rewarded with the next superstar after Hamilton and Vettel.

  2. Why don’t they try John Edwards, the kid is just mega! He won 2 championships, year after year, and he’s now looking for Indycar funding:( Just 18…

  3. Edwards is indeed super talented, but I think JR is more ready, especially in technical terms. I’m delighted he’s getting this chance, but mystified why USF1 isn’t all over him…

  4. Has any team given Will Power a look? He seems to have jumped from Australia straight to America (and is tied up for 2010), but his record in the lower formulae was pretty good. Great name too.

  5. Force India testing DiResta ? A Mercedes DTM driver?
    Sounds very much like a swop between Force India and Mercedes is in the offering!
    I’m thinking that Adrian Sutil will be Brackley bound just as soon as Mercedes can assure Force India of the benifits of reduced cost motors!

  6. I find it mildly amusing that USF1, who have proclaimed their all-American nature for all to hear, have been beaten to announcing an American test drive – and by a team which is patriotic to a completely different country at that!

  7. Ivan, I very much agree that John Edwards is a bright young star with great potential, but Hildebrand is right there with him in my book. It’s fantastic to see either of them- along with Rossi testing for BMW- get a chance to show what they can do here.

    I was very surprised to read about this today, but very happy as well. JR has a ton of potential and it will be fantastic to see what he can do with a car that was not the worst of the pack this season. Credit to Force India for giving him a chance to demonstrate to the world what a talented young American can do with the proper backing and support.

    Good for di Resta as well- he has much more time in the F1 establishment than JR, but good to see him back with the program.

  8. Delighted to see someone putting diResta in a car. I assume that this is somehow related to Force India’s McLaren partnership deal and does it suggest that both team and driver are on the McLaren side of the split with Mercedes.

    I don’t really see the point of testing Hildebrand. If he is any good USF1 are presumably going to be desperate to sign him and if he is not then it is a wasted test day. I wonder if there is a deal with USF1 here for FIF1 to test this driver.

  9. Force India testing JR, is a slap in the face for Peter Windsor, who at the start said there are many excellent drivers in US ready for f1 and then is now saying that no American driver is ready for F1….

  10. http://www.forceindiaf1.com/index/page_id/356/news_id/273

    “As an American we don’t necessarily have the culture of F1 but anything that’s so impressive and cutting-edge demands respect” – that’s kinda typical quote you normally hear from an American (driver or F1 fan). Is it really so bad? OK, I understand that F1 is firmly rooted in European culture but c’mon, we’d like to have a Grand Prix in the USA. I hope that F1 is not seen in the States as something simply exotic. C’est crazy!

  11. Any news on the second (or maybe first as in no. 1) Mercedes GP driver?

    Their choice has to be extremely limited, just look how Fisi struggled in that Ferrari, and he is a experienced driver, knew the tracks and how to drive the current spec cars.

  12. Alianora La Canta: US F1 wouldn’t be able to test JR Hildebrand even if they wanted to. The minor obstacle is the lack of a racing car that some people consider essential for a test. The only was US F1 could test talented American drivers is asking other teams to do so.

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