Jules Bianchi will kick off his season of Friday practice duties this weekend in China.
Despite remaining under contract to Ferrari’s development programme, the Frenchman was signed to be reserve driver at Force India this year. The team said 22-year-old Bianchi will practice during “a minimum of nine” Friday sessions this season.
The first will be in Shanghai late this week, according to the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche.
The report said Bianchi, who will also race in the Renault World Series in 2012, will take over Paul di Resta’s Mercedes-powered car in the initial free practice session beginning at 10am local on Friday in China.
“I hope it (the role) will put me in a strong position to one day move into a race seat,” Bianchi said in January.