The former GP2 driver has been signed by Force India to replace the team’s reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, who has stepped up to the race seat this season.
Like Hulkenberg last year, Frenchman Bianchi will practice on numerous Friday mornings in 2012.
He will also race in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, it emerged on Thursday.
Bianchi, also under contract to Ferrari as a development driver and managed by Felipe Massa’s manager Nicolas Todt, will drive for the Tech 1 team.
“This is a very important season for my career and, as a young driver, it is vital to have the opportunity to race in a competitive series such as this,” he said.
“I want to thank Ferrari and Force India for having given permission to grasp this opportunity.”