F1 hopefuls line up for Force India reserve role


Hopeful candidates are lining up to be Force India’s official reserve driver, after the team announced they are actively looking for a driver to fill the role..

“We are looking,” confirmed deputy team boss Bob Fernley this week.

Pascal Wehrlein, who is already Mercedes’ reserve, was scheduled to drive the Mercedes-powered Force India on the first day of this week’s Barcelona test.

But media reports said his outing was called off because the young German has the flu. So Nick Yelloly, a British midfield driver in GP2, on Tuesday had his Force India debut fast-forwarded.

And reportedly driving the Silverstone-made car on Wednesday will be Esteban Ocon, a highly-promising French 18-year-old driver, who last year beat Max Verstappen in European F3.

Days ago, Mercedes announced that it has signed Ocon to its development programme, and he immediately reinforced his promise by winning on debut in GP3.

Ocon is now Mercedes’ official reserve driver in the DTM series, with the German carmaker saying he could become “a fully-fledged Mercedes-Benz driver in the future”.

“Esteban is a mega-talented young guy and one of the stars of the future,” said Toto Wolff.