Celis surprised by Force India testing opportunity

Alfonso Celis Jr believes the opportunity Sahara Force India have given him in the first pre-season test is a vote of confidence for the young Mexican.

The nineteen-year-old will be the first of the drivers to drive the VJM09 in 2016, driving ahead of regular drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, with the Formula V8 3.5 Series racer ready for the exciting opportunity.

“I’m very excited and ready,” said Celis Jr to Motorsport.com. “I was surprised by the opportunity. I was informed of it at the factory while preparing for the season ahead.

“The team has given me a vote of confidence and it is important for me to be in the car for my development. It’s important to be in the car as long as possible for me to keep growing. It’s a very different world and I have a lot to learn.”

Celis Jr has revealed he has been communicating with both Hulkenberg and Perez ahead of his day in the car, and hopes to be able to prove his worth behind the wheel and also hopes not to crash.

“During the first day, we will need to check that the car works correctly,” revealed Celis Jr. “There is a lot of work to be done. The main thing for me is to give feedback that will serve the team well for the proper development of the car.

“We hope to get as many laps as we are looking for. It is important that no failures occur and that I am not involved in any accident. It’s a very extensive plan – I think I’ve never had this kind of workload. But this is Formula 1 and I’m very focussed on the job.

“Both Nico and Sergio have advised me to ensure that we get the most use out of it.”