Force India's young driver policy has given it one of the most promising driver lineups on the grid, according to deputy team principal Bob Fernley.
The Silverstone-based team has given regular track time on grand prix weekends to its reserve drivers for the past two years, with both Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg converting those opportunities into race drives for the following season. Ferrari Academy driver Jules Bianchi is the latest driver to land the reserve role at the team, and Fernley explained at the launch of the team's VJM05 F1 car that driver development is important to Vijay Mallya's squad.
"No, I don't think we are taking a gamble," Fernley said in relation to Force India's young lineup. "Driver succession is important to us. I think outside of, or maybe including, the top four, we've got one of the most exciting driver lineups, so I'm not worried at all.
"The system Force India operate with bringing them through one year [as reserve drivers] makes the difference with them being able to be competitive from day one. It's a very clearly thought-out process."
Hulkenberg, who returns to racing after spending a year on Friday duties with Force India, believes that the role given to him by the team last year has helped him be ready for his return.
"A year on the sidelines wasn't easy for me but I had a great year with Force India," said the former GP2 champion, who raced for Williams in 2010. "They gave me lots of chances to prove my talent on Friday mornings.
"I kept sharp that way and now I'm back. I think I still improved and learned, but in different ways. I picked up some things that might help me in races."
Bianchi, who has joined the team after two years racing in GP2, hopes to be able to follow in di Resta and Hulkenberg's footsteps and prove that he is worthy of further chances in Formula 1.
"For the moment we have a minimum of nine Friday mornings, so it's going to be really important," said the Frenchman. "The track time in Formula 1 is really useful for a young driver like me.
"I will just try to do my best, try to show the team I deserve more. I am reserve driver, I will stay in this position and try to help them as much as I can."