Force India has confirmed its driver line-up for the 2011 F1 season, with the expected announcement that Paul di Resta will make his debut alongside Adrian Sutil.
Having agreed a deal to release Vitantonio Liuzzi from the contract he had in place for 2011, the team will promote DTM title winner di Resta into a race seat after he impressed in a number of Friday outings last year while Sutil will remain with the Silverstone-based outfit for a fifth successive season.
As well as confirming that Sutil and di Resta will take on the role of race drivers, Force India has also announced the signing of former Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg as its new test and reserve driver in what it calls a 'long-term partnership'.
“I am genuinely excited by the drivers we will be fielding in 2011,” team boss Vijay Mallya said. “I believe that the combination of talent we've assembled gives us one of the strongest line-ups on the grid: Adrian has matured into one of F1's most consistent and highly-rated young drivers, while Paul is, I believe, a real star of the future. He has won in every category in his career and this base speed was in evidence when he got in the car on Fridays last year.
“With Nico, signing him was too good an opportunity to let by. He showed a good racing head and talent and I was amazed by his control in Brazil last year. Together I think they are a formidable partnership and will help take us to the next level of performance.”
Liuzzi's only option to remain in a race seat for 2011 would now appear to be with Hispania Racing while testing roles are also limited with most of the vacancies having already been filled.