Jan.26 (GMM) Paul di Resta will be Force India's reserve driver in 2010 and even appear in official practice sessions.
The news was divulged by McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh on the occasion of the Mercedes GP livery launch in Stuttgart on Monday.Force India is powered by Mercedes engines, and has a technical and managerial relationship with McLaren.Whitmarsh was asked by Reuters if Scot di Resta, 23 and the cousin of Indycar driver Dario Franchitti, was an option to replace the Sauber-bound Pedro de la Rosa as McLaren reserve driver."Paul will be running I believe in the majority of the Friday sessions for Force India, so it's a great opportunity for him," he answered."I'm happy for him. He's going to push like hell to make his case to have a race drive at Force India during the course of this year," added Whitmarsh.Whitmarsh, the new chairman of the FOTA teams association, also indicated that "some other teams are looking at" running third drivers in Friday practice sessions.He said McLaren is seeking to replace de la Rosa, despite Gary Paffett remaining a test driver in 2010 alongside his full time DTM race drive."He's got other commitments so we need another driver," explained the Briton, amid speculation Nick Heidfeld is a candidate."I might be wrong, but one can imagine that the driver market and maybe the entrants will be slightly more volatile than they have been in recent years," said Whitmarsh."I sense that there will be some drivers who think they are gainfully employed at the moment who may be available in the future."