PARIS, Jan 27, 2012 (AFP) - Formula One outfit Sahara Force India have announced the addition of Frenchman Jules Bianchi as the team's reserve driver for the 2012 season.
The 22-year-old Bianchi will be "integrated in the team's programme and will participate in a minimum of nine Friday practice sessions during Grand Prix weekends", according to a team statement.
Bianchi will also get his first run in the team's VJM05 car during pre-season testing next month, according to the team.
"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," said Bianchi.
"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."
Team Principal and Managing Director Dr. 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.
"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."