Bianchi joins Force India as 2012 reserve 27 Jan 2012
Force India have signed 2011 Ferrari tester Jules Bianchi as their 2012 reserve driver. The 22-year-old Frenchman, a former F3 Euro champion, will participate in at least nine Friday practice sessions for the team this year.
Bianchi, who remains a member of Ferraris Driver Academy, will be integrated in Force Indias programme for the coming season and will get his first run in the teams new VJM05 car during testing next month.
Im obviously excited to join Sahara Force India and the chance to get track time during race weekends is an important step for me, said Bianchi, a winner in GP2 last year. Being regularly in a current car is the best way to learn quickly and I hope it will put me in a strong position to one day move into a race seat.
The next few months will be really exciting as I get to know the team, see how they work, and prepare for my time in the car. I would like to thank everyone for believing in me and especially Sahara Force India for giving me this great opportunity.
Commenting on adding Bianchi to Force Indias driver line-up of Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg, team principal Dr Vijay Mallya said: I am delighted to welcome Jules into the Sahara Force India family. We always keep an eye on young, talented drivers and his performance in GP2 certainly impressed us all.
By giving Jules the opportunity to be part of our 2012 campaign, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to young drivers. We are proud of our track record in this regard and I have no doubt that Jules will quickly settle into the team and make a valuable contribution to our efforts on track this season.
Force India will launch the VJM05 at Silverstone in the UK next week, on February 3, with its track debut expected at Jerez in Spain on February 7.
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