The new-look Sahara Force India continued its changing image last week, as it expanded its driver development programme by teaming up with Hilmer Motorsport to create Force India’s official GP2 team.

The new partnership will see 22-year-old Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt, 21, race on the GP2 grid in the distinctive colours of Force India in the Hilmer Motorsport GP2 car.

The development programme expands on the success of Sahara Force India’s reserve driver programme, which has already helped progress several drivers to Formula One race seats.

It also represents a logical addition to the team’s ‘One From A Billion’ talent hunt, which helped unearth a selection of young Indian karting talents. The most successful candidate has been Jehan Daruvala, a 15-year-old from Mumbai, who graduated into the team’s Academy last year and was crowned British KF3 Junior champion.

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India, was delighted to have established the new team.

DRIVERS: Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt will join the new Force India GP2 team for the upcoming campaign
DRIVERS: Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt will join the new Force India GP2 team for the upcoming campaign

“As a team we’ve always placed great emphasis on nurturing young drivers so I’m delighted to announce our partnership with a GP2 team,” he said.

“It’s the logical next step as we look to bring through the next generation of drivers and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talent.

“Our presence in GP2 moves us closer to having a holistic development programme to school drivers from grassroots karting to the higher echelons of professional motorsport.”

Franz Hilmer, Team Principal and Managing Director of Hilmer Motorsport added: “We are very happy about the collaboration between Hilmer Motorsport and Sahara Force India Formula One Team.

“I’ve had an association with Sahara Force India for ten years and we are looking forward to working together on a sporting level going forward.

“With Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt we have two very talented young drivers with the potential to progress to Formula One. We will do our best to support them on their way to the pinnacle of motor racing.”