Vijay Mallya, team principal at Force India, paid a glowing tribute to Jules Bianchi, describing the Frenchman as 'a tremendous talent' as well as 'a friend'.
Bianchi was a reserve driver for the Silverstone based outfit during the 2012 season. He participated in nine Friday free practice sessions at various race weekends during the course that year.
The team released the following statement from Mallya on their Facebook page.
“The thoughts of everyone at Sahara Force India are with the friends and family of Jules Bianchi at this terrible moment. We had the pleasure of working with Jules during 2012 [as the team’s third driver] where he left a strong impression on everyone in the team.
"We came to know an outstanding young man and a tremendous talent who was destined for great things in Formula One. The world has lost a true racer and we have all lost a friend."