Gary Paffett is to act as reserve driver for Force India for the opening round of the new F1 season in Australia this weekend.

The McLaren test driver will take up the role due to the fact that the team's regular reserve driver Jules Bianchi has been unable to travel to Australia due to his commitments in Renault World Series testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.

Although not scheduled to take part in any track action, McLaren test driver Paffett will be available if Paul di Resta or Nico Hulkenberg are unable to race for any reason.

"I'm happy to be available for Sahara Force India for this weekend," Paffett was quoted by ESPNF1. "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."

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