Jules Bianchi’s chances of securing the vacant seat at Force India appear to have improved, according to the Frenchman’s manager, Nicolas Todt.
The Ferrari protégé spent 2012 on loan as Force India’s reserve and Friday practice driver, as well as contesting the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, finishing runner-up to Sauber’s newly-appointed reserve driver, Robin Frijns.
Bianchi – the great-nephew of former Grand Prix driver Lucien Bianchi – is believed to be competing with a host of other drivers for the seat alongside Paul di Resta in 2013, including former Toro Rosso team-mates Jaime Alguersuari and Sébastien Buemi, as well as former Force India driver Adrian Sutil.
Speaking with RMC Sport, Todt – who also manages Felipe Massa – said: “The decision is in the hands of two or three people in the Force India team.
“I think Jules has a real chance but nothing is signed. There are many drivers who are knocking on the door at Force India. Jules is one of these drivers and the goal is to get the seat for next season.”
Of course Todt would say that. It’s his role as a manager to promote the prospects of his star client.
Force India has confirmed that the unveiling of its 2013 challenger, dubbed the VJM06, will occur at its Silverstone factory on February 1, four days before the first official pre-season test at Jerez.
It is unclear exactly when Force India will announce its final driver line-up, having since abandoned its earlier promise to confirm this before the end of the 2012 season.