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di Grassi: Nationality played no part in F1 test.

Lucas di Grassi has insisted that his nationality had nothing to do with his selection to test for Honda in Barcelona this week – an outing that could lead to a Formula 1 drive in 2009.

The Brazilian tried out alongside compatriot and fellow GP2 Series front-runner Bruno Senna around the Circuit de Catalunya, and both men – alongside 2008 incumbent Rubens Barrichello – are understood to be in the running for the seat next to the still-unconfirmed Jenson Button at the Brackley-based outfit next year.

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras will join Honda from Williams as a key sponsor in 2009, and it has been suggested that part of the deal is the stipulation that the squad employ a home-grown driver.

Renault Development Driver member di Grassi – who finished a close third in the F1 feeder category this season, just behind runner-up Senna and champion Giorgio Pantano despite having missed the opening six races – insists that is not the case.

“It has nothing to do with nationality,” the 24-year-old told Dutch website Formule 1 Race Report, “but I am proud that so many Brazilians are fighting for a seat.

“Bruno and I were offered this test because of how we performed in GP2.”


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Gaz - Unregistered

November 20, 2008 2:04 PM

Because he has been around too long and is too old. Simple. No-one is going to sign someone of his age as an F1 rookie. It is not fair, I agree but they are the facts.

So desu - Unregistered

November 20, 2008 2:37 PM

He has plenty of good racing years in him. Most teams change drivers after a couple seasons anyway. I agree that's probably the reason why Pantano doesn't get a drive but I think it's pretty silly. Especially considering how he's actually managed to turn lower half teams into winning teams in GP2. He could well be a great asset to any midfield F1 team. Then again, he's probably not the kind of name that would make potential sponsors jump with excitement...



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