Celis Jr to make free practice debut in Bahrain

Mexican teenager Alfonso Celis Jr will take part in his first Formula 1 free practice session during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend at the Sakhir International Circuit.

The nineteen-year-old will participate in opening practice with the Sahara Force India team in place of his countryman Sergio Perez, in what will be the first of seven outings for Celis Jr during 2016.

Celis Jr took part in two days of pre-season testing with the Silverstone-based team, and gave the VJM09 its on-track debut on the opening day of the testing programme at the Circuit de Catalunya last month.

He had already experienced Formula 1 machinery in the end-of-season Pirelli tyre test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2015 with Force India, but will now participate in his first official Formula 1 session in Bahrain.

Celis Jr is combining his Force India Development Driver role with a second season with AVF in Formula V8 3.5 in 2016, where he will partner Frenchman Tom Dillmann.