Paul di Resta ‘thrilled’ after clinching Force India F1 seat
The 24-year-old Scot will race for the Indian team next season after being promoted from his test role
Paul di Resta has been confirmed as a Force India driver for the 2011 Formula 1 season.
The 24-year-old from Bathgate will partner Adrian Sutil for the Indian team after being promoted from his test role to replace Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Di Resta’s drive was confirmed in Glasgow on Wednesday at an event at the headquarters of Force India sponsors Whyte and Mackay, but it had long been known he would secure a seat for 2011.
The current DTM champion, di Resta also beat current F1 champion Sebastian Vettel to the Formula 3 title in 2006 and will relish the opportunity to race against the German again in 2011.
“Naturally I am thrilled to be making my race debut this season,” di Resta said. “Becoming an F1 driver has been a long-held ambition of mine, something I’ve wanted to do since I first stepped into a kart, and to finally realise it feels amazing.
“I’ve worked really hard for this opportunity throughout my career and to get it with Force India, a young team that has ambitions as big as mine, is genuinely exciting.”
Di Resta becomes the first Scot in F1 since David Coulthard, who is now a commentator and pundit for the BBC’s coverage of the sport, and is also the cousin of three times IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti.
His role as test driver for Force India last season gives him a good starting point for his first full season in F1, and he will feature heavily in the forthcoming winter tests.
“Last year was a huge learning curve, but it got me into the team, the environment, and enabled me to learn all the systems you need to go through,” said di Resta.
“I know the team now and I know what it takes to get through a weekend. I’ve learned many of the tracks, but it’s still going to be a different challenge.”
Former Williams driver Nico HÃƒÂ¼lkenberg will test for Force India in Valencia, before handing the car to di Resta.