Former Ferrari reserve driver Bianchi moves to Force India

January 27th, 2012 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 27 (IANS) Sahara Force India Friday named Frenchman Jules Bianchi as their reserve driver for the 2012 Formula One season.

The 22-year-old will be integrated in the team’s programme and will participate in a minimum of nine Friday practice sessions during the Grand Prix weekends. Bianchi will get his first run in the VJM05 during pre-season testing next month.

Bianchi finished third in the 2011 GP2 Series besides fulfilling the role of a Ferrari reserve driver.

“I am obviously excited to join Sahara Force India and the chance to get track time during race weekends is an important step for me. 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,” said Bianchi in a Force India release.

On Bianchi’s appointment, team principal Vijay Mallya said: “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.”

Scot Paul di Resta and German Nico Hulkenberg will do the racing duties for the Silverstone-based team.

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