Today the Force India Formula One Team and principal sponsors, Whyte & Mackay, confirmed that Paul di Resta will be the team's test and reserve driver for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. The news was announced at a press conference held at Whyte & Mackay's Glasgow headquarters in Paul's native Scotland.
Twenty-three year old Paul, from West Lothian, impressed in his three day test in Jerez, Spain, in December 2009. He will now attend all races on the 2010 calendar and the team envisages he will participate in a number of Friday practice sessions to fully understand the VJM03, particularly given the ban on in-season testing will continue into next year. Additionally Paul will combine his F1 activities with a program in DTM, which will serve the dual purpose of allowing Paul to learn the current F1 tracks while keeping his racing skills sharp.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal, commented, 'I would like to thank both Paul and JR Hildebrand for their commitment in the test in Jerez. Both worked very hard and were impressive in the test. We are very proud to have someone of Paul's caliber joining the team as his potential was clear in the test and he has the right attitude for making it in F1. The program we have put together will allow him to get to grips with the car, the team and the environment and various pressures associated with F1 and we look forward to this becoming a very fruitful partnership.'
Paul di Resta added, 'I am ecstatic to finally get the chance to move into F1 at last. I'm pleased I can start my F1 career with Force India, a team that has a lot of potential. I see this move as taking me one step closer to achieving my dream of racing in F1 but I know I have a lot to learn in terms of the car and the tracks right now. I think this program is a perfect way to prepare fully and be ready to go if and when the chance of a race seat comes. I hope this will be the start of a long-term future with Force India. With the support of all of the team, including Whyte & Mackay, I'm sure we will grow together.'
John Beard, Chief Executive of Whyte & Mackay added, 'Whyte & Mackay is proud of its global association with Force India and we are excited about the upcoming F1 season. It's an added thrill for a Scotch whisky brand to see a talented Scottish driver achieve his Formula One ambitions. We welcome Paul to the team and look forward to working with him towards a successful season in 2010.'
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