Di Resta to do 18 F1 practice sessions

Force India third driver Paul di Resta will drive in all bar one of this year’s first free practice sessions in 2010.

He will take the place of team mates Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi in FP1 at alternate events for every race except for the Korean Grand Prix.

At Korea, both race drivers will participate in every free practice session to give them the maximum time to learn the new track.

No other F1 team is involving their third driver in their Friday running in this way.

Di Resta said: “I’m going to be doing the normal programme a race driver would undertake. I hope to build on that to gain a race seat in 2011.”

Liuzzi said he wasn’t concerned about giving part of his practice allocation to the team’s new driver. He said: “If it’s run in a proper way it won’t be a problem.” He confirmed that some details, such as who would miss the sessions at each track, were yet to be worked out.

Di Resta will drive the VJM03 for the first time at Jerez next Wednesday. He will also continue racing for Mercedes in the DTM during the season.

Read more: Paul di Resta becomes Force India tester

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32 comments on Di Resta to do 18 F1 practice sessions

  1. I didn’t even know they were allowed to do this…

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 10th February 2010, 17:25

      Toyota did with Kobayashi at Suzuka last year.

      • brendan said on 10th February 2010, 19:52

        didnt glock have a fever on the friday?

        • newnhamlea1 said on 10th February 2010, 20:32

          most people suspect that was just an excuse to put someon japanese in the car, mark webber raced in japan in 2007 to the finnish, and was vommiting throughout.

          • Xanathos said on 11th February 2010, 0:24

            At least He would have liked to race to the finish since he was on track to a podium there…but his sickness only became apparent during the race.

          • ….Not quite to the finish (thanks to Vettel) but good point!

          • Jarred Walmsley said on 12th February 2010, 6:43

            Remember he also had badly injured leg as well

    • Ned Flanders said on 10th February 2010, 17:33

      BMW and Williams did it with Vettel and Nakajima respectively in 2007 too. (although the rules may have changed since then?)

      Good news for Di Resta, I thought perhaps his career was beginning to stall in DTM. I think it’s safe to say he’ll be a race driver for Force India next season.

  2. This is good for paul di resta i’m pretty sure he’ll be quicker than both sutil and liuzzi.

  3. Kutigz said on 10th February 2010, 17:31

    Nice ones! I think every team should adopt some kind of this arrangement type. It will surely provide some race grounds for Reserve drivers!
    Just look at what happened with Ferrari last year in the aftermath of Massa’s incident! All their ‘replacement’ drivers couldn’t get the grips of that monkey of car – the F60!

    • Wisely put though sensible thinker

      • ps can’t spell thou

        • Kutigz said on 10th February 2010, 17:50

          Oh really CJD? Which words did i mispell?
          :-)

          • I think CJD was referring to CJD’s original reply, but I’m not sure. Mind you, the sentence makes sense as it stands.

            Force India proved last year that preparing reserve drivers well is a good idea – I don’t think it’s a coincidence that only Liuzzi and Kobayashi were able to truly impress out of all the second-half-of-season swappages (and we’re not sure how much of Kobayashi’s is through sheer talent). I would consider this 18-session practising an excellent idea, especially given that Liuzzi (the one who would be expected to need those sessions more out of the two FIF1 drivers) sounds absolutely fine with giving up some practise time.

          • Calum said on 11th February 2010, 7:44

            Cjd was meaning to say:
            wisely put, thou sensible thinker
            and his second was to correct his spelling of thou

  4. Bonaco said on 10th February 2010, 18:20

    There is no rule that tell that test driver can’t run a race. In case his time are better than other two drivers the third pilot can be promoted during the season.

  5. mmertens said on 10th February 2010, 18:34

    There’s one rule that I can remember regarding reserve drivers: if the reserve driver already drove for a practice session on friday and for any reason one of the main drivers couldnīt race, the reserve driver isn’t allowed to replace the teammate and drive in the same race. In Suzuka 09 Kobayashi was ready to replace Timo Glock after his injury due to the Qualifying accident, but he wasn’t allowed to race for that reason.

    • charles fox said on 10th February 2010, 19:26

      Actually i believe its that any driver stepping in to replace a driver for the race has to have taken part in FP3/qualifying to be eligible.

      Which IMO is nonsense and such a waste of oppertunity for reserve drivers/exposure for fans/sponsors etc. funny that teams would face a penalty if they don’t show up with two cars at the race but if ones ruined/unrepairable/injured driver its fine to miss, when there could be slightly less chance of a team having to miss a race. Tragic that this happened to Toyota at Suzuka as well! think of the japanese fans rooting for Toyota, probably one of many little reasons and a few larger ones that Toyota pulled it.

  6. Nice, good one FI!!!

  7. Scribe said on 10th February 2010, 21:09

    Lol FI

    If ya ask me this is Force India gearing up to eventually rid themselves of a driver. Di Resta is with them for a full time drive and one of these two is going to be giving it to him next year. Probably Suitil, he’s fast but the biggest prang magnet on the grid.

    • Ned Flanders said on 11th February 2010, 3:52

      mabye… Sutil always crashes, but at least he’s occasionally fast. Liuzzi crashes often too and he isn’t even that quick! (although he was doing well at Monza 2009 before he retired)

  8. Phil T said on 10th February 2010, 21:43

    All teams should do this, i think it could be very interesting. We would see 39 different drivers each weekend, and it would give all the third drivers chances to prove that maybe they should be second driver! It would also surely help prevent another Badoer type performance. I cant think of a downside on this one, which probably means it will not happen.

  9. Why oh why does Di Resta get all the attention when Gary Paffett is far better?. Both have had very similar career paths, only Paffett was more successful. Is it an age thing?

    • Mike-e said on 11th February 2010, 1:22

      its cause mclaren have 2 world champions and paffet played it safe going to a top team to be a test driver. Di Resta has stuck his neck out and gone for a seat in a not so big team, therefore has a more realistic chance of getting a race drive.

      I’m a paffet fan too, and was dissapointed he didn’t get a seat instead of hamilton when hamilton joined the grid….. although i’m glad now he did, cause he turned out to be amazingly exciting and agressive.

      Paffet to replace button 2011!!

  10. Scribe said on 10th February 2010, 22:38

    I thought a better way of getting round the driver/testing block would be an hour an a half long practice session, where all currently serving drivers are banned, at certain Grand Prixs over the season.

    Sort of like a constant series of young drivers tests. Or a way of keeping a reserves hand in. Make a 3 engine and a certain number of tyes. Have roughly 10 of these sessions, mostly on European tracks. An your sorted, the teams get more testing at a lower price, more people get F1 experiance, an we all get to witter about the times of this driver or that.

  11. HounslowBusGarage said on 10th February 2010, 23:30

    If PDR drives on Friday instead of Sutil for example, are the tyres that PDR uses counted off against the allowance for Sutil?

  12. Xanathos said on 11th February 2010, 0:27

    It’s good that Di Resta is on course to get a seat in 2011 (if he performs well in friday practice, which I expect). He’ll propably be the first driver to move on to F1 from the graveyard called DTM.

  13. wasiF1 said on 11th February 2010, 4:49

    That’s not a bad idea,if any of the driver from Force India miss any races then Paul won’t need too much time to learn the track.

  14. Itís good news for Di Resta but not so good news for Sutil and Liuzzi. Publically the race drivers may say they are okay with it but if they had the choice surely they would prefer to drive in every practice session possible.

    It is a good idea to give a reserve driver track time each weekend especially with limited testing but I donít think it makes sense for a top team to do it as it would mean depriving one of your race drivers of valuable track time.

    Is there enough space on the Friday of a Grand Prix weekend to fit in an extra session for reserve drivers? As teams are only allowed to take two cars to a Grand Prix now it would mean changing over one car for the reserve driver and then back again to the race driver though.

  15. I think its Mallya’s best bet yet.. Luizzi isn’t quick enough for a long time role and Sutil would probably move on elsewhere next year.. And Mallya isn’t going to find an Indian Hamilton any time soon.. He probably realizes Paul’s as good as Hamilton or Vettel.. So by promising him and by preparing him for a race seat(asap), Mallya would expect Paul to be a loyal long time driver..

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