Force India has announced that it will not run Paul di Resta in Friday practice at Hockenheim due to Bridgestone's tire strategy for the event.
Test driver di Resta is taking part in the majority of Friday morning sessions at grands prix this year in place of one of Force India's race drivers, but the team has decided that Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi need to get maximum mileage on this weekend's tires so di Resta will step down.
In response to the praise it received for the Canadian Grand Prix, where the large disparity in performance between its two tire compounds led to a highly entertaining race, Bridgestone is bringing its super-soft and hard tires to Germany. Its usual tire choices for each race are just one step apart in its range, as opposed to the two steps' difference between its Hockenheim selection.
Di Resta said he fully understood why he would not be running this weekend.
"It's a shame but I completely understand the decision," he said. "In Hockenheim, Bridgestone is bringing two tire compounds that are two steps apart – the super-soft and the hard – rather than just the one step as usual, so the drivers and the engineers need to understand the performance fully.
"It's a decision that's been taken relatively late but it's better to err on the side of caution at such a crucial stage in the season. The team is performing well but other teams are also making steps forward so we need to have as much information as possible to get every performance advantage we can.
"Hockenheim is a track I know well from the DTM and I was looking forward to getting out there in the F1 car, but it's a team effort and I am sure I can put some of the knowledge I have back into the overall weekend."
The Scot will still attend Hockenheim as part of the team, and will drive again in Hungaroring practice a week later.
"I'll be back in the car in Hungary, replacing Tonio for FP1, so I'll resume my running there," said di Resta. "In the meantime, I'll join in the program as usual – help out with meetings, on the pit wall and pick up as much information as I can. At this stage, everything is part of the learning process."