Russian Formula 3 driver Nikita Mazepin and Austrian Mercedes DTM driver Lucas Auer are set to drive Sahara Force India Formula One Team ‘s VJM10, the 2017 car at Budapest post race test.
Each of the drivers will get a half day drive on Tues and Wednesday as per the schedule.
Auer will get his hands on a Formula One car for the first time whereas Mazepin will be providing his duties as a development driver having driven with the team last year at Silverstone.
“I’m really looking forward to testing with Sahara Force India again.”
“I’ve been working with the team for over a year and it’s great to get another chance to drive the car. The last time I drove an F1 car was in 2016 so it’s going to be interesting to make a comparison with the new 2017 regulations.
“I learned so much from the last test and it’s an important part of my development as a driver. I’ve been doing lots of simulator work to get ready for the test and I’m working hard to make sure I deliver everything the team expects from me.”, said Mazepin.
Auer currently racing with Mercedes in the DTM championship is excited with the opportunity of driving a single seater again. He has had many wins in the German F3 and FIA Formula 3 European Championship, which made the team to pick him up a very easy decision. He adds,
“Really exciting news – the most beautiful moment of my life. For me, it’s a childhood dream come true to drive an F1 car for the first time. I’m particularly proud that this will happen with Sahara Force India – a top Formula 1 team.
“I must say thank you to everybody who has worked to make this possible, especially to the team at Force India who have given me this opportunity. I will be aiming to make the most of the test – and, of course, I’ll be savouring every second of it.”
Vijay Mallya, the team principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India Formula One Team commented,
“We are pleased to be running two talented youngsters at the Budapest test. We already know Nikita well and giving him time in the VJM10 is the next stage in his development programme with us.
“I’m delighted to welcome Lucas to the team and will follow his progress closely. It’s always a special moment when a driver gets to experience an F1 car for the first time and I’m pleased Lucas can make his debut in one of our cars.”