The Manchester based Force India formula one team has announced the latest addition to their driver lineup for the 2012 formula one season. French driver Jules Bianchi gets the coveted seat ahead of other contenders (some even rumour that Karun Chandhok was in the running, totally unconfirmed though).
Before this Jules Bianchi has valuable experience racing in the GP2 Asia and world series. He has also driven in the Formula 3 championships. However his latest assignment was with the Ferrari formula one team for whom he was a reserve driver as of the 2011 season. Its interesting that he sees a brighter future at Force India than at Ferrari. Maybe its recognizing which team would realistically promote him to a raceday driver ?
Interesting part is that both Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg were reserve drivers before graduating to the real race day driving, maybe Bianchi hopes for that. That beside the Frenchman would get to ride the Force India car for testing and during Friday practice sessions. The Force India formula one team confirmed that Bianchi would get a minimum of nine Friday practice sessions.
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.”
Photos: Sahara Force India Formula One Team