Celis Jr joins Force India as Development Driver

Mexican teenager Alfonso Celis Jr has been signed by Sahara Force India as a development driver, and will experience Formula 1 machinery in the post-Abu Dhabi test with the team.

Celis Jr, who has run a dual campaign in the GP3 Series and the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2015, will participate in seven free practice sessions with Force India during the 2016 season, as well as spending time on the team’s simulator.

“Ever since I started racing I’ve been dreaming of Formula One, so it’s a huge honour to begin working with Sahara Force India,” revealed Celis Jr, who will dovetail his 2016 season with a campaign in Formula 3.5 V8 with AVF.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for me to learn about Formula One and to work closely with the engineers and race drivers. Being on the track in Abu Dhabi will be an incredible feeling.

“It’s going to be the biggest moment in my career and I am fully focussed on doing a good job for the team.”

Team Principal Dr Vijay Mallya welcomed Celis Jr to the team, and believes he will learn from race drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg next season.

“I would like to welcome Alfonso to the team and wish him well ahead of his debut with us in Abu Dhabi,” said Mallya. “As our development driver we will work hard to prepare him for the demands of driving in Formula One and provide a good grounding in all aspects of the job.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Alfonso to learn from Sergio and Nico, and to get valuable mileage in the car.”