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Jan 28, 2012 at 12:23am IST

Force India sign Bianchi as reserve driver

New Delhi: Sahara Force India have completed their drivers' line-up for the 2012 season by signing French racer Jules Bianchi as their reserve driver.

Bianchi, who was with Ferrari as a test and reserve driver in the 2011 season and also finished third in the 2011 GP2 Series, has been promised a minimum of nine Friday practice sessions during Grand Prix weekends.

The 22-year-old Frenchman will be integrated in the team's programme and will get his first run in the VJM05 during pre-season testing next month.

Bianchi to be Force India reserve driver

Sahara Force India have completed their line-up by signing French racer 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," Bianchi said in a Force Insia statement. "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."

Team Principal 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."

Force India had promoted last season's reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg to a racing seat after showing the door to senior pro Adrian Sutil. Paul di Resta is the other driver for the team for the 2012 season.

The 2012 season will begin with the Melbourne Grand Prix on March 18.

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