Could someone please tell me why Jules Bianchi will be in a Marussia for the 2013 Formula One season and not considerably farther up the grid? Is Ferrari just biding their time until 2014 to see if Felipe Massa’s return to form at the end of last year continues on for this year? Have the cards just not fallen in the right way for the young Frenchman to show his apparent talent?
Born of racing blood, Jules’ grandfather, Mauro, was a rally and sportscar ace during the 1960s, racing simultaneously with his older brother, Lucien. The elder of the two competed in seventeen GPs between 1960 and 1968. Great promise was shown in that last season, including a 3rd at Monaco in addition to an overall win at Le Mans alongside Pedro Rodrigues in the mighty Ford GT40, but Jules’ Granduncle’s life was cut short at Le Sarthe the following year. Following the tragedy, Mauro retired from motorsports.
Two generations later, Jules began his professional racing career in grand fashion in his first season out of karts. Driving for the SG Formula team in the 2007 French Formula Renault2.0 series, Bianchi scored eleven podiums, five poles and five wins from thirteen races to take the series championship. He signed on with ART Grand Prix the following year to compete in the Formula 3 Euroseries, where he would take another seven podiums and two victories on his way to 3rd at season’s end.
In addition, Jules won the 2008 Masters of F3 at Zolder in Belgium. Staying on with ART in the F3 Euroseries for ’09, Bianchi was teamed up with fellow 2013 F1 rookies Valterri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez, along with Adrien Tambay. On the strength of nine wins, Bianchi took his 2nd title in just three years.
Stepping up to GP2 with ART for 2010, Jules was able to manage a 3rd place finish in the final standings despite suffering a fractured back in a 1st lap accident at the Hungaroring. He would follow up this result the following year, while adding a single victory at Silverstone in the process. For 2012, Bianchi made the switch to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Tech 1 Racing and took three victories and eight podiums on the way to an improved 2nd place at year’s end.
Like Esteban Guiterrez, Bianchi’s F1 experience goes back some four years. Following a young drivers test with Ferrari in December of 2009, Jules was signed on as part of the Scuderia’s young driver development program. He was promoted to the team’s official test driver position for 2011 and then loaned out to Force India to act as their test driver for the 2012 season, a year in which he took part in nine Friday practice sessions.
Now Bianchi finally finds himself on the Grand Prix grid, but at the very back of the field with the unfortunately rather hopeless Marussia team. Many a past F1 World Driver’s Champion have begun their careers in small back marker teams and have been able to prove themselves worthy of a top level ride. Maybe, as mentioned previously, the 2013 season is just one in which Bianchi has been place in a low level team to get whatever experience he can while a certain scarlet red outfit bides it’s time to see what this season brings. But with two titles to his name and having never finished worse than 3rd in six full seasons of racing I do hope for bigger and better things for Jules Bianchi in the coming years.
This website is unofficial and is not associated in any way with the Formula 1 companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trade marks of Formula One Licensing B.V. Additional information can be found at F1's website at www.formula1.com. We collect information about visitors who comment on Sites that use our Akismet anti-spam service. The information we collect depends on how the User sets up Akismet for the Site, but typically includes the commenter's IP address, user agent, referrer, and Site URL (along with other information directly provided by the commenter such as their name, username, email address, and the comment itself).