Mercedes DTM touring car driver Daniel Juncadella has been signed as Force India’s reserve driver for the 2014 Formula One season behind Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
The 22-year-old Spaniard is a former champion of the FIA European Formula Three series and turned laps for Williams last summer in the Young Driver’s Test at Silverstone. In 2012, he also tested for Ferrari in their 2009-spec machine, the F60, after wrapping up that F3 title.
According to a team release, Juncadella “will attend all races with the team and take part in several Friday practice sessions to gain valuable track time and experience behind the wheel of the VJM07,” which was recently unveiled in a series of images.
“Joining Sahara Force India is a dream come true,” Juncadella said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to learn and will hopefully take me a step closer to eventually racing in Formula One.
“To work with the team at the track and in the factory will give me some valuable experience and I will do my best to make a contribution to help the team achieve its goals in 2014.”
The team notes that Juncadella’s “racing focus” shall remain in the DTM with the Mercedes team. He finished 16th in last year’s series championship.
An interesting note for those in tune with F1 history: Juncadella is the nephew of Luis Perez-Sala, the final team principal for HRT (which left the sport after the 2012 season) and a former competitor for Minardi in the late 1980s.