GP2 rising star James Calado confirms talks over more F1 opportunities with Force India
Englishman's manager Nicolas Todt talking to the team
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 05/08/13 2:01pm
GP2 front-runner James Calado is optimistic that ongoing talks with Force India will soon lead to more opportunities for him to drive the team's Formula 1 car.
The young British driver, who currently sits fifth in this year's GP2 championship, impressed the team in his debut appearances for them at last month's Young Driver Test, when the 24-year-old drove the VJM06 on all three days at Silverstone.
The promising nature of Calado's maiden test - he was seven tenths of a second slower than the fastest time set in the car by regular race driver Adrian Sutil - has swiftly led to suggestions that he could feature for the team in Friday practice sessions at grand prix weekends before the end of the season, particularly as Force India have regularly run test drivers in P1 over recent years.
Appearing as a guest on The F1 Show on Friday night, Calado confirmed his manager Nicolas Todt, whose stable of drivers also includes Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado, was talking to Force India to try and strike a deal for more on-track appearances.
"Doing the Force India test was fantastic. It was amazing to get in a Formula 1 car," the Englishman told Sky Sports F1.
"I was getting evaluated by the team and I'd like to say I did a fantastic job! I got to grips with it quicker than I expected actually and was able to give good feedback.
"I can't hide that we're having discussions with Force India, my manager Nicolas Todt is talking to them now, and it's hopefully likely that things will happen in the near future."
Calado, who joined Todt's All Road Management in April, added that his relationship with Force India had already developed promisingly since the test.
"There was a lot of pressure: there's this fine line between impressing the team and then crashing, especially as a young driver in your first time [in an F1 car]," he replied when asked whether his performance at Silverstone had served to increase his confidence.
"But driving away from the track at Silverstone I was confident, I was pretty happy and then within a few days the team were ringing me up asking for more information, maybe a sim[ulator] work and things like that.
"So building up a relationship with the team now and hopefully we can do some more going forward."