Jan 16 (Reuters) - Ferrari are trying to find a regular Formula One role for French driver Jules Bianchi, who has been linked to the vacant Force India race seat.
Team principal Stefano Domenicali assured reporters at a media event in the Italian Dolomites on Wednesday that “we are currently trying to find him a role in Formula One and when we have some news, we will let you know.”
Bianchi, a member of Ferrari’s driver academy, was Force India reserve last season and took part in several Friday practice sessions for the Mercedes-engined team.
Media reports have speculated that Force India could be mulling a switch to Ferrari engines in 2014 with Bianchi, whose manager Nicolas Todt also looks after Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, part of the package.
Force India have yet to name a replacement for Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg, who has moved to Ferrari-powered Sauber, with the first pre-season test due to start on Feb. 5. Britain’s Paul Di Resta is their other driver.
Germany’s Adrian Sutil, a former Force India driver who sat out last season, is also considered a frontrunner for the coveted race seat. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Alison Wildey)