Jules Bianchi has said that he feels ready to make the step up to Formula One.
Bianchi finished as runner up in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2012 and has taken part in selected Friday practice sessions with Force India.
Bianchi has also been part of Ferrari’s driver academy since its creation and has been involved in the team for several years.
“I learned a lot from this role and from driving in P1″, said Bianchi. “Even if I’d driven before at the previous year’s Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi and also at Jerez, it’s not the same as driving during a race weekend, because you are under a lot more pressure”.
“I feel I have grown up a lot with this experience and I am now ready to be a race driver in Formula 1. I hope I find an official seat for next year as this is definitely my dream. I feel I had a good season in World Series and did a good job with Force India as well, so I feel ready and think I deserve a seat in Formula 1.”
Force India does have a vacancy as current driver Nico Hulkenberg will move on to Sauber in 2013, although team co-owner Vijay Mallya is in no hurry to decide who Paul di Resta’s team mate will be.
“We have traditionally waited until the end of the season to confirm our line-up and I expect we will stick to this schedule. With the state of the driver market at the moment there is no rush to make an announcement. We have a shortlist and will take our time to make sure we have the fastest drivers available in our cars next season”, said the Indian.
It is understood that as many as ten drivers are on Force India’s short-list with ex-Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari the favourite to secure the seat.