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.”