Honda to give di Grassi Formula One test chance

Business Materials 7 November 2008 15:02 (UTC +04:00)

Lucas di Grassi will test for the Honda Formula One team later this month, joining fellow Brazilian Bruno Senna, nephew of racing legend Ayrton Senna, reported dpa.

The pair will test the Honda RA108 car for the Japanese team at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona during Honda's first official winter test, which runs from November 17 to 19.

Honda revealed that di Grassi, who finished second in the GP2 Series in 2007 and third this year, will be given a full day of testing. The 24-year-old has previously done a lot of testing with Renault but has no chance of a drive with the French team next season after it decided to stick with Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr.

"This is a very well-deserved opportunity for Lucas to prove his potential after such an impressive performance in GP2 this season and during his testing responsibilities with the ING Renault F1 Team," said Honda team principal Ross Brawn.

"We look forward to seeing Lucas in action and will take a keen interest in how he performs."

For his part, di Grassi said he was looking forward to the challenge.

"The next two weeks will be a very important stage in my development and I will be spending a lot of time at the Honda Racing F1 team's factory before the test to speak with the engineers and learn as much as possible in advance of the test," he said.

Honda revealed on November 3 that Senna, who currently races in the GP2 Series, would be testing in Barcelona.

Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were the Honda drivers for the 2008 F1 season but Senna is favourite to replace countryman Barrichello for next year.

"We are in no hurry. We can afford to wait until shortly before Christmas," said Honda F1 CEO Nick Fry about when a decision about next season's driver line-up will be made.