Feb.3 (GMM) Williams has played down speculation it may follow Force India’s lead by giving its new test driver some track time during Friday practice sessions in 2010.
Unveiling Paul di Resta’s new test and reserve role on Tuesday, Force India confirmed that the 23-year-old Scot will appear in the place of the team’s race drivers during some Friday practice sessions this year.
“We’ll sacrifice some of the race drivers’ track time so Paul can get up to speed,” chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer is quoted as saying by the Independent.
Grove based Williams last week signed 20-year-old Finn Valtteri Bottas as rookie race driver Nico Hulkenberg’s successor as team tester.
Interpreted as a hint of a Friday role, the youngster said he will drive in Williams’ simulator this year, at young driver tests, and “who knows if I might get another opportunity”.
But Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper, having interviewed technical director Sam Michael, said Williams does not plan to give Bottas track time at grands prix.
Australian Michael also said Bottas will not appear in the FW32 during the February tests.
“We have an agreement with him, but whether he is the next Finnish driver (in F1) remains to be seen,” he said.
“Only in a couple of years will tell whether he made the same progress as the two Nicos,” Michael added, referring to Nico Rosberg and Hulkenberg.