Promising Frenchman Jules Bianchi will be Force India's [ Images ] reserve driver this season while retaining his place as a member of Ferrari's [ Images ] young driver academy, the Formula One teams said on Friday.
Force India said the 22-year-old will take part in a minimum of nine Friday practice sessions over the course of the season and testing in Spain next month.
A Ferrari spokesman said the Frenchman would remain a member of their academy, like Sauber's Mexican Sergio Perez.
"The chance to get track time during race weekends is an important step for me," Bianchi said.
"Being regularly in a current car is the best way to learn quickly and I hope it will put me in a strong position to one day move into a race seat."
Both of Force India's previous two reserve drivers are now in race seats with the team, who promoted Germany's [ Images ] Nico Hulkenberg to the role this season alongside Britain's highly-rated Paul di Resta.
Force India principal Vijay Mallya [ Images ] said the team always kept an eye out for young talent and Bianchi had impressed with his performances in the GP2 support series.