Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Who are they, anyway - Force India young drivers // Hildebrand and Di Resta prepare to share all three days of Jerez testing

Published by Christine

This is another entry in our driver profiles - the young guys who will be driving this week in Jerez and who we most likely have never heard of. In an attempt to learn about the unfamiliar faces, we're sharing with you our findings. This time, we're looking at Force India.

Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta
  • Age: 23
  • Nationality: British
  • F1 Experience: Linked to McLaren test, subsequently cancelled
  • Notable Achievements: 1st in F3 Euroseries 2006, 2nd and 3rd in DTM 2008 and '09 respectively

Paul has been linked to Formula 1 seats for the past few seasons. His good performance in the DTM series has made him a Mercedes favourite, but his McLaren test was cancelled. He has been linked to a Force India race seat, but that also has yet to come to fruition. Instead, he is having a go in their car for a quick test this week.

Di Resta is rated highly, and rumours relating to a drive for him have switched to the recently renamed Virgin Racing. This test may help to see how Paul copes with the change to open wheel racing again. When asked about the test, di Resta said: "This is a very realistic opportunity to establish a solid, long-term working relationship with Force India which I hope will develop over the coming years."

He is on the schedule for all three days, sharing the role with JR Hildebrand.

J.R. Hildebrand

J.R. Hildebrand
  • Age: 21
  • Nationality: American
  • F1 Experience: None
  • Notable Achievements: 5th then 1st in Indy Lights 2008 then 2009, 1 race in A1 Grand Prix 2009

Hildebrand has spent the past few years competing in the Champ Car and Indy Lights series, which would appear to make him of a similar brand as Bourdais. I don't know what the link to Force India is for J.R but he is looking forward to the experience. I'm not sure he has as much passion as some of the other potential racers He said: "I've heard so much about the performance of the cars and know this is going to be quicker and more responsive than anything I've ever sat in before." He also added: "As an American we don't necessarily have the culture of F1 but anything that's so impressive and cutting-edge demands respect. I hope I can do the car and myself justice."

Hildebrand will be testing for all three days, sharing the role with di Resta.

All content in the series Jerez Testing December 2009