Day 1: P3 – Lap time: 1.47.252
Day 2: P1 – Lap time: 1.45.669
“The test went very well. I had to adapt to a car that is very different to the GP2 machine I drove for the last two seasons. Over the two days, the team worked to find a set-up that better suited my driving style, but I also had to change my approach in order to get the best out of the car and the tyres, which I had never run on before.”
“This is only the first test of the season but I immediately had a positive feeling working with the Tech 1 team and I think that together, we can manage to do a good job of preparing for the season. The thing that struck me the most? The moveable wing and I think it’s very useful to be able to familiarise myself with an element that is becoming very important in the Formula 1 Grands Prix.”
Jules Bianchi is one of the most talented and promising young drivers. After winning the championship in F3 Euroseries with ART Grand Prix in 2009 and getting the third position in the 2010’s GP2 championship he signed a deal with Ferrari for becoming the reserve driver for the team in 2011, while he continued competing in the GP2 championship.
This season he took a step forward in his career by signing a contract with Sahara Force India. This role will give him the opportunity to drive the car during some Friday sessions before the Grand Prixs.
We had the pleasure to have a telephone interview with Jules while he was in Barcelona for the final test before the start of the season that took place from the 1st until the 4th of March. His answers to the questions we set to him are really interesting.
Jules, let me ask you how did the test go for the team yesterday (1st of March) and what is your plan for the rest of the day (2nd of March).
“Yesterday the team did a good job again and we showed that the car is really good. We are still pushing a lot to improve it and we are trying to see that our data is working. Anyway, yesterday was a good day and today hopefully will be a good day again.”
In the test in Jerez you had the opportunity to drive the new car. What is your feeling about the new car in terms of performance and drivability?
“When I drove the car in Jerez I felt it really comfortable to drive, very quick and well balanced which is really important and I was really happy with this. Even if I did this small mistake the day after, I think the test went pretty well for me and the team was happy with my job so this was really important. “
What position does the team target for this season?
“I think the target of the team is to be sixth for sure and if we can do even better it will be better, but anyway the target is the same I think.”
The team announced that you will drive in, at least, nine Friday sessions. What will be your tasks and your responsibilities?
“When I will be driving in the Friday mornings the target for me will be to do whatever the team asks me to do, not to do any mistakes and to show that I can do tests with them and improve the car, get good feedback and be quick on the track. So, this will be my target.”
Your grandfather and your uncle were racing drivers. Do you believe that this racing heritage has played a role for you becoming a successful racing driver?
“Well, my grandfather was racing a long time ago, but my family has been in motor racing since I was born and even before so, for sure it is very important for me to be in this world which is really small and actually all my essence of my life is about doing motor racing.”
From your career so far, which is the moment that you remember the most?
“I think that it is the Formula 3 championship that I won in 2009 which has been very important for me and then one of the best moments for me was the contract with Force India which is one of the most important moments in my career.”
Last year you had a quite successful season in GP2, this year you make a step forward as you will be doing some Friday mornings in Formula 1. So, what about next season and beyond?
“This year I will do a lot of things during the Friday morning for the whole season so I will try to do my best and help the team for the championship and I hope that I have an official seat for next year and this is the main target for me.”
You have been a member of the Ferrari young driver’s academy for some time. Do you dream your future in Formula 1 with Ferrari?
“Well, now I’m in Force India so I’m thinking only about Force India.”
This year we have three drivers from France in Formula 1 plus you as a reserve driver. Do you believe that this can push FIA to get the French Grand Prix back in Formula 1?
“Yes, for sure it would be good to do that. We have three French drivers in Formula 1 and it will be great to have the French Grand Prix back and I think the people in France are trying to get it back again. I think it will be very important for our sport to be in France. So I hope that we will do it again (the Grand Prix) and it will be very important to us.”
From the entire Formula 1 history which driver do you admire the most?
Can you explain why?
“Yes, just because what he has achieved is just amazing. For me he is simply the best driver.”
We would like to thank Sahara Force India and especially Will Hings for the exceptional cooperation and Jules Bianchi for the very interesting interview he gave to us.