Alfonso Celis Jr first to drive Force India in F1 test

Sahara Force India have confirmed that Alfonso Celis Jr will be the first to drive their 2016 challenger at pre-season testing on Monday.

The Mexican first tested Formula 1 machinery with the Silverstone-based outfit at last year’s post-race Abu Dhabi session, finishing fourteenth fastest of 16 in the Pirelli tyre test. Last year he finished his GP3 season with one podium with a finishing place of twelfth. In Formula Renault 3.5, he finished the season in sixteenth for AVF with two fastest laps.

The team’s development driver will share the driving duties over the four days with the team’s 2016 race drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.

Perez will take over the driving duties from Celis on Tuesday with Hulkenberg taking the wheel of the VJM09 on Wednesday. Celis will again drive the car on Thursday, the last day of testing.

The second pre-season test in March will be a combined drive between Perez and Hulkenberg. With Hulkenberg on the first and third day while Perez will drive day two and four.

Force India’s 2016 challenger will be revealed 30 minutes before testing in the Barcelona pitlane on Monday.