Force India expand driver development programme into GP3 with Hilmer Motorsport
Deal sees expansion of existing GP2 partnership
By William Esler
Last Updated: 25/03/14 10:47am
The German team run by Franz Hilmer made their GP2 debut last season and will enter GP3 this year having taken over the entry of Russian Time who themselves had been planning on expanding into the series before their Team Principal Igor Mazepa died earlier this year.
Force India have already partnered with Hilmer for the GP2 campaign with the cars of Daniel Abt and Facu Regalia running in the black, white, orange and green colours of the F1 team during pre-season testing.
"Our partnership with Hilmer to field a GP3 team reaffirms Sahara Force India's commitment towards developing a new generation of drivers," Team Principal Vijay Mallya said.
"Combined with our support for grassroots karting, our presence in GP3 and GP2 lends valuable support to up-and-coming racers and will help them to realise their potential."
Hilmer are yet to confirm any of their three GP3 drivers for 2014, but the close links with Force India and a clear sequence of stepping stones to F1, will certainly make the seats some of the most desirable on the grid.
"We are very happy to announce the expansion of our collaboration with Sahara Force India," Hilmer said.
"After the partnership with our GP2 team we are very proud that our GP3 team will also contest under the Sahara Force India banner. It is a big but also logical step for us in the development of ambitious talents and with teams in GP2 and GP3 we are present in the two major junior formulas.
"We offer an ideal platform to young drivers and our target is to prepare them as effectively as possible on their way to the pinnacle of motor racing."
GP3 testing begins at Estoril on Thursday, however Hilmer will miss the opening two days of running with the cars making their debuts at Jerez instead on April 10.
The season begins at the Spanish Grand Prix on May 9-11 and you can see every GP3 race live on Sky Sports F1 throughout the 2014 season.