Recent Force India Formula 1 reserve driver Alfonso Celis Jr. has made the switch across to Indy Lights for the 2018 season, signing a deal with Juncos Racing.

Celis, 21, took part in nine F1 practice sessions through 2016 and 2017 in his role as Force India's test and development driver, with his final appearance coming on home soil at the Mexican Grand Prix in October.

Celis finished third in last year's World Series Formula V8 3.5 series, but will now move across to Indy Lights, the top series of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder in the United States and the main support championship for IndyCar.

"I’m very excited to be joining Juncos Racing for the 2018 Indy Lights Championship. I have known the team for a long time and it was finally time to do something together," Celis said.

"The Indy Lights championship has proven to be very competitive and I’m confident that with my experience and with the success that the Juncos team has had we should be able to be a contender for the championship right away.

"Being in IndyCar has always been something I’ve dreamed of. I grew up watching the series from Mexico and this will be a great step towards that goal. I can’t wait to be on top of the podium with the Mexican flag on my shoulders."

Team owner Ricardo Juncos added: "I am thrilled to bring Alfonso on board for our 2018 Indy Lights team. He has incredible talent behind the wheel, which we first had the chance to see when he tested with our team in the Pro Mazda car back in 2013.

"Alfonso brings a lot of experience to the series after spending most of his time running in open-wheel series throughout Europe and he was even a Formula 1 reserve driver for Sahara Force India. I am confident he will be a top contender this year for the championship.

"I want to thank Alfonso, his management team, and family for committing to our team for the 2018 season.”