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FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 NEWS 

Jules Bianchi joins Tech 1 for FR3.5 season

Jules Bianchi ART GP2 Asia 2011Jules Bianchi will race in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship in 2012 with the Tech 1 team, the series has revealed.

Bianchi was signed as Force India's reserve driver for the 2012 season, and he will drive in at least nine Friday practice sessions with the Formula 1 team.

The Frenchman's manager Nicolas Todt had said, however, that Bianchi was looking for a non-F1 programme in order to continue racing this year.

"I think it's important for Jules to keep driving, keep racing," Todt told AUTOSPORT. "At least nine [grand prix] Fridays is good, but it's not huge mileage. With Ferrari and Force India we are looking at different possibilities."

Bianchi, who is part of Ferrari's young driver programme, had competed in the GP2 Series for the past two years, finishing in third position both times.

"I am very happy to be driving for Tech 1 Racing in the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series" said Bianchi. "This year is very important for my career and, as a young driver, it's crucial to have the opportunity to race in such a competitive environment.

"I will do my best to help the team to achieve its goals this season. I also would like to thank Scuderia Ferrari and Sahara Force India F1 for allowing me to do so."

Bianchi will partner Kevin Korjus at Tech 1, which finished in fifth place in the 2011 season.

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