05/02/2012

Reserve driver projects

Along with Force India reserve driving duties which includes runs in the VJM05 in at least nine Friday practice sessions, Jules Bianchi has stated his desire to race elsewhere to keep his mileage and experience up. He stated:

"We are working on it, we are not sure yet, but I will try to have another programme as well"

His manager Nicolas Todt added:

"I think it's important for Jules to keep driving, keep racing. At least nine Fridays is good, but it's not huge mileage. With Ferrari and Force India we are looking at different possibilities. The main thing is I am very pleased that Jules has signed as third driver at Force India, because we have seen in the past it is the best team for giving a chance to young drivers. They know how to work with young drivers, and it is the best opportunity he could have apart from a race drive in Formula 1".

Looking elsewhere, Indian driver Karun Chandhok has helped to expand the lower level racing series he is associated with into Europe.

From the 2012 season the JK Racing Asia Series will have races at Paul Ricard (France) and Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) in addition to those already on the 2011 calendar which includes the Buddh International Circuit (India).

CEO of motorsport Asia, David Sonenscher, said the following:

"We are constantly looking at ways to move this championship forward and provide the best training ground for future champions. All of the circuits listed on our calendar will be vital for the future of any driver's career and will offer them unrivalled experience at this level. Ricard is the only track that does not currently host Formula 1 but I hear that this may change soon. By running in Europe we give our Asian drivers an opportunity to experience European motorsport before they make a full transition and at the same time it puts us in front of the Europeans who can then see the quality of this championship first hand. No other such series provides this kind of platform for junior drivers. Usually when they graduate from karting, they will compete on a National level or at best a Continental level. This has never been done before. Any thoughts of this being done in the past would have raised concerns over the level of the budgets required, however, the series organiser motorsport Asia has worked very hard with the teams to keep the costs at a surprisingly affordable level. In fact, they are not expecting any significant increase in driver participation costs. We have always been very competitive in that respect and I think it is safe to say that we will continue to be so. I think drivers will find the costs pretty amazing, especially when you look at what you are going to get for it. I encourage any driver who has not signed a deal yet for 2012 to take a close look at this championship".

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