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Force India to test Di Resta, Hildebrand

November 24, 2009 17:05 IST

Britain's Paul di Resta, the cousin of IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti, will test for Force India in Spain next week along with young American J R Hildebrand, the Formula One team said on Tuesday.

Team owner Vijay Mallya said both were being considered for a permanent role as test and reserve driver next season.

Di Resta, 23, competes for Force India's engine partners Mercedes in the German touring car championship. The Scot has also twice tested for McLaren.

Hildebrand, 21, is the Indy Lights series champion and the Californian will be the first American to test a Formula One car since Scott Speed was at Toro Rosso in 2007.

Mallya said both had stood out in tests in the McLaren simulator. "We will be looking at their performance on track very closely and should they perform well, as we are confident they will, we will look at a permanent role for one within the team in 2010, potentially as a test and reserve driver," he added.

"As a young team we are looking for drivers who can grow with us. As we've always said, nationality isn't the primary selection criteria - it's talent and dedication to the cause and we have seen enough to know that these two have both."

The Jerez tests will be the first since the season ended this month and are designed to give young drivers more experience.

"F1 has always been my dream and I feel this is taking me one step closer to achieving it," said Di Resta.

"I'm realistic that I've got a lot to prove and that I need a bit more experience of the cars and the F1 environment before getting a permanent seat but this is just the beginning of what I hope will be a very bright future with Force India."

Hildebrand said he was up for the challenge. "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," he added.

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