Force India F1 will have a presence in GP3 this year after entering into a partnership with Hilmer Motorsport.

Under the programme Hilmer will compete in the series with three cars under Sahara Force India colours. It follows a similar deal with the German team for GP2 - F1's principal feeder category, something that was announced at the start of February.

"Our partnership with Hilmer to field a GP3 team reaffirms Sahara Force India's commitment towards developing a new generation of drivers. Combined with our support for grassroots karting, our presence in GP3 and GP2 lends valuable support to up-and-coming racers and will help them to realise their potential," said Force India F1 team boss, Dr Vijay Mallya.

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Franz Hilmer, team principal of Hilmer Motorsport, added: "We are very happy to announce the expansion of our collaboration with Sahara Force India. After the partnership with our GP2 team we are very proud that our GP3 team will also contest under the Sahara Force India banner.

"It is a big but also logical step for us in the development of ambitious talents and with teams in GP2 and GP3 we are present in the two major junior formulas. We offer an ideal platform to young drivers and our target is to prepare them as effectively as possible on their way to the pinnacle of motor racing."

The Force India-Hilmer GP3 team will now make its first on-track appearance at the Jerez test on April 10-11, while the racing debut will take place in Barcelona at the beginning of May.