The Hilmer Motorsport outfit have become the Force India junior team after a partnership was announced that would help with the F1 team’s driver development program. They have also announced that German driver Daniel Abt and Argentine driver Facu Regalia will be their drivers for the 2014 GP2 season.
“As a team we’ve always placed great emphasis on nurturing young drivers so I’m delighted to announce our partnership with a GP2 team,” said Force India team principal Vijay Mallya to Autosport.
“It’s the logical next step as we look to bring through the next generation of drivers and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talent.
“Our presence in GP2 moves us closer to having a holistic development programme to school drivers from grassroots karting to the higher echelons of professional motorsport.”
20-year-old Abt will be competing in his second season in GP2 after a disappointing 2013 with ART Grand Prix that heralded only eleven points compared to the 157 of team-mate James Calado. He was the 2012 GP3 series runner-up that lead to his promotion to GP2 last season. Abt ran at the end of season test in Abu Dhabi for Hilmer and was signed not long afterwards.
“First of all, I’d like to thank ART,” said Abt.
“The team gave me the opportunity to gather a lot of important experience in the GP2 series.
“But now the time has come to take the next step and I’m very happy that the cooperation with Hilmer has worked out.”
Regalia finished runner-up in the 2013 GP3 series, winning one race in Germany and only missing out on the title in the final round of the season to new Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat.
“It is incredible news for me to be a GP2 driver with Hilmer Motorsport and Sahara Force India’s driver development programme,” said Regalia.
“I appreciate the belief Franz Hilmer showed in my performances last year and the opportunity to race with him in 2014. I am also very proud to be associated with Sahara Force India and will make the most of the opportunities it presents.
“The chance to drive a Formula One car at the end of the season is also a huge motivation. My focus is to work as hard as I can to make sure we are fighting at the front of the field and getting the best results possible.”