• Australian Grand Prix

Force India call in Paffett as reserve

ESPNF1 Staff
March 15, 2012 « Raikkonen comfortable with Lotus | Qualifying will be 'very important' - Vettel »
Gary Paffett drove the 2011 McLaren during a demonstration at Albert Park on Thursday © Sutton Images
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Force India has confirmed that Gary Paffett will be its reserve driver at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

The team's current reserve driver Jules Bianchi is unavailable due to World Series by Renault commitments at Paul Ricard in France, so McLaren has allowed its test driver to be available for Force India. Paffett - who is also backed by Force India's engine supplier Mercedes in DTM - will only be called upon if either Paul di Resta or Nico Hulkenberg is unable to race.

Paffett said he hoped his services wouldn't be required, but was pleased that Force India has entrusted him with the role.

"I'm happy to be available for Sahara Force India for this weekend," Paffett said. "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. I'd also like to thank McLaren and Mercedes for making me available should the need arise."

Paffett will not drive on Friday, with di Resta and Hulkenberg both appearing in all sessions this weekend.