Bianchi signed by Force India as 2012 reserve driver

Jules Bianchi
Big boost for Jules Bianchi

Jan.27 (Press Release)  Sahara Force India is pleased to announce that Jules Bianchi has joined the team as its reserve driver for the 2012 season.

Jules Bianchi (FRA) Ferrari 150 Italia.
Jules Bianchi tests the Ferrari 150 Italia at Yas Marina in November last year

The 22-year-old Frenchman will be integrated in the team’s programme and will participate in a minimum of nine Friday practice sessions during Grand Prix weekends. In preparation for the 2012 season, Jules will get his first run in the VJM05 during pre-season testing next month.

The appointment sees Sahara Force India continue its tradition of investing in young drivers and developing their skills by giving them time in the car.

Jules Bianchi: “I’m 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. I would like to thank everyone for believing in me and especially Sahara Force India for giving me this great opportunity.”

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “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.”

Note: Jules Bianchi is a product of the Ferrari Drivers Academy (FDA) and Bianchi was on duty for the Maranello team during last year’s young drivers test in Abu Dhabi.