Paffett called up as Force India reserve in Melbourne

Gary Paffett (GBR) McLaren MP4/26. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Wednesday 16 November 2011.
Gary Paffett

Mar.15 (GMM) DTM star and McLaren test driver Gary Paffett is next in line for a Force India race seat this weekend in Australia.

The Silverstone based team’s new regular Friday and reserve driver, Jules Bianchi, is unavailable this week as he tests ahead of the Renault World Series.

Force India has therefore asked McLaren, its technical partner, for help.

With Pedro de la Rosa now at HRT, Briton Paffett is the British team’s new official reserve driver.

He has already been in action this weekend, demonstrating McLaren’s 2011 car to the crowds at Albert Park on Thursday.

And Paffett, 30, will step into Force India’s car during the race weekend, should bad fortune befall the team’s regular drivers Nico Hulkenberg or Paul di Resta.

“I’m happy to be available for Force India for this weekend,” said the DTM driver.

He will not participate in Friday morning practice.

“Of course, it’s unlikely that I will be called up and hopefully it won’t happen, but it’s nice to know that the team thought of me,” said Paffett.

Subbed by AJN.