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Force India confirm 2011 line-up with Di Resta in for Liuzzi // A replacement at the Silverstone-based team

Published by Christine

The hard working and ambitions Di Resta
Credit: Force India F1

Force India finally confirmed their driver lineup for this year, matching everyone's expectations by announcing Paul di Resta in place of Tonio Liuzzi. Rookie driver Di Resta joins Adrian Sutil, who has spent four years with the team so far, and former Williams driver Nico Hülkenberg becomes the test driver.

Di Resta spent 2010 participating in the DTM series, but followed Force India to each and every Grand Prix to learn how they went about their business. At eight of the races, he was given the opportunity to drive in Free Practice, and he obviously impressed the bosses, as he's now been given the nod for a full time race drive. Team boss Vijay Mallya has no qualms in showing his excitement over the 2011 signings:

I am genuinely excited by the drivers we will be fielding in 2011. I believe that the combination of talent we’ve assembled gives us one of the strongest line-ups on the grid: Adrian has matured into one of F1’s most consistent and highly-rated young drivers, while Paul is, I believe, a real star of the future. He has won in every category in his career and this base speed was in evidence when he got in the car on Fridays last year. With Nico, signing him was too good an opportunity to let by.

- Vijay Mallya

Paul di Resta's promotion from test driver to race seat has been speculated upon since he started to appear in the car at race weekends, but Force India have kept us all in suspense until today - presumably as they sorted out any legal wranglings with Tonio Liuzzi's contract. The Italian is left without a race seat for now, and the only space left on the grid is at HRT.

Meanwhile, Hülkenberg's contract has been confirmed as a long-term one, so whilst the German impressed last year with a surprise pole position, and is now relegated to a reserve role, he may be eyeing Force India as his future team.

However, it is Di Resta's moment to shine, as the 24-year-old becomes the third Brit to join the 2011 season. He is looking forward to the challenge:

I’ve worked really hard for this opportunity throughout my career and to get it with Force India, a young team that’s got ambitions as big as mine, is genuinely exciting. I can’t wait to be on the grid in Bahrain, it can’t come soon enough.

- Paul di Resta