James Calado has been appointed as Force India's reserve driver

GP2 Series race-winner James Calado has been appointed as Force India’s reserve driver for the Silverstone-based team.

The British driver will participate in a selection of Friday practice sessions over the remainder of the 2013 season, starting with this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Calado – who currently lies fifth in this year’s GP2 Series Drivers’ Championship standings with one win and five podium finishes – clocked up significant mileage with the team during July’s ‘Young Drivers’ test at Silverstone, with his impressive performance ensuring his promotion to the role of the team’s reserve driver.

Calado impressed the team during the 'Young Drivers' test at Silverstone“We worked with him during the Silverstone test and he impressed everyone with his speed and consistency,” Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said in the team’s media release.

“We’ve always tried to support young drivers and this is a great opportunity for James to gain some valuable experience of driving during Formula 1 race events.

“James will take part in the opening free practice session on Friday (at Monza). He will also run in practice at several other races this year [which] will help us evaluate James.”

The opportunity is a great stepping stone for Calada, who will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of past Force India reserve drivers Paul di Resta, Nico Hulkenberg and Jules Bianchi, who all managed to subsequently secure race seats after stints as the team’s third driver.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.