Force India has confirmed that Nikita Mazepin and Lucas Auer will test the VJM10 at the second in-season test following the Hungarian Grand Prix. After weeks of speculation about Auer, the team has officially announced that the DTM driver will get a taste of a 2017 Formula 1 car.
Auer races for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport BWT in the DTM championship, with his BWT links vital to his test confirmation. The Austrian is second in the standings, only two points behind leader Mattias Ekstrom. The 22-year-old has described it as the most "beautiful moment" in his life.
"It’s really exciting news – the most beautiful moment of my life," he said. "For me, it’s a childhood dream come true to drive an F1 car for the first time. I’m particularly proud that this will happen with Sahara Force India – a top Formula One team.
"I must say thank you to everybody who has worked to make this possible, especially to the team at Force India who have given me this opportunity. I will be aiming to make the most of the test – and, of course, I’ll be savouring every second of it."
Mazepin is Force India's current test and reserve driver and has previous experience of F1 cars. He tested the 2016 Force India machine last year and is competing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this season, sitting P15 in the standings.
"I’m really looking forward to testing with Sahara Force India again," the Russian stated. "I’ve been working with the team for over a year and it’s great to get another chance to drive the car. The last time I drove an F1 car was in 2016 so it’s going to be interesting to make a comparison with the new 2017 regulations.
"I learned so much from the last test and it’s an important part of my development as a driver. I’ve been doing lots of simulator work to get ready for the test and I’m working hard to make sure I deliver everything the team expects from me."