Talented British GP2 driver Sam Bird will get his F1 chance with Mercedes at the young drivers’ test after the Abu Dhabi GP.
The 23-year-old is driving for the ART team this year, and won the feature race at Monza. He is fifth in the championship with just Abu Dhabi to come.
His Mercedes connections stem from his F3 EuroSeries days, when he drove for Mucke Motorsport. He was third, and best Merc runner, at Macau last year. Previously he was the best rookie in his debut seasons in British F3 and Formula Renault.
“Sam has done an impressive job in the GP2 Series during his first season,” said Ross Brawn. “He is the highest-placed rookie in the championship order with some excellent results over the year. We are very pleased that Sam will be joining Mercedes GP Petronas for the Young Driver test next month and are confident that he will provide the team with the essential consistency and feedback we require.
“This is also an excellent chance for Sam to continue his progression in motorsport and widen his experience of Formula One. Sam has been chosen due to his relevant current single-seater pedigree through his competition in GP2, the F3 EuroSeries and British F3 and as an added bonus, he will have experience of the track from his GP2 racing over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. We look forward to working with Sam at the test and to seeing his progress and feedback over the two days.”
Norbert Haug added: “For the upcoming Young Driver test days in Abu Dhabi, it was important for us to find a young and talented driver with single-seater and preferably GP2 experience. Sam Bird, who competed in the F3 EuroSeries last year with our DTM partner team Mücke Motorsport before he progressed to the ART team in GP2, who are also partners with Mercedes-Benz in F3, fulfils these requirements. With the experience that Sam will gain during the GP2 races in Abu Dhabi, I am sure he will be well prepared for the test.”