LONDON Nov 30 Germany's Nico Hulkenberg will
stand out in Formula One testing in southern Spain this week as
the only driver present with a confirmed place on next year's
The 22-year-old Williams driver is taking part from Tuesday
in a three-day young driver test at Jerez with nine of this
year's 10 teams attending, including BMW who said farewell at
this month's season-ender in Abu Dhabi.
Toyota will be absent after also pulling out while the four
new teams for 2010 have yet to complete their cars.
The test is the only one allowed before the New Year, with
the emphasis on giving promising youngsters experience now that
testing is banned during the season as part of agreed
They will include drivers from seven countries -- Belgium,
China, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States
-- that may not have any representative in grand prix racing
Some of the youngsters are closer than others to breaking
into Formula One, with Brazilian Lucas di Grassi testing for
Renault but tipped for a Manor GP drive while Britain's Paul di
Resta and American JR Hildebrand will be battling for the Force
India reserve role.
"It's always been a big goal of mine to get to Formula One,"
Di Resta, a cousin of IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner Dario
Franchitti, told Reuters.
"I hope to be able to impress Force India with what I can do
in a racing car and go forward with the team," added the Scot,
who has twice before driven a McLaren F1 car. "I want to get
into Formula One and I'm prepared to do what it takes."
Hulkenberg, who had little mileage as Williams' test and
reserve driver last season, will be driving for two of the days
to get more familiar with the 2009 car before testing starts in
earnest in January.
He will be joined by Spanish-born racer Andy Soucek, who
also has Austrian nationality and won this year's Formula Two
title in a Williams-designed car.
Champions Brawn, now competing as Mercedes, will have
Britain's Mike Conway, 26, and Sweden's Marcus Ericsson, 19.
Conway, a previously Honda F1 tester, will do most of the miles.
Ferrari are taking four up-and-coming Formula Three drivers
to Jerez - Frenchman Jules Bianchi, Italians Daniel Zampieri and
Marco Zipoli and Mexican Pablo Sanchez Lopez.
Bianchi, like Ferrari's Brazilian race driver Felipe Massa,
is managed by Nicolas Todt -- son of International Automobile
Federation (FIA) president and former Ferrari team boss Jean.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, 20, will be with Red Bull while
sister team Toro Rosso will try out New Zealander Brendon
Hartley and Italian Mirko Bortolotti.
China's Ho-Pin Tung tests for Renault along with Belgian
Bertrand Baguette, getting his first taste of F1, while American
Alexander Rossi and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez will be at the
wheel of the BMW.
The Munich carmaker is honouring a promise made to both
18-year-olds before the withdrawal was decided.
(Editing by Justin Palmer; To query or comment on this story
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