Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Melbourne, 2013

Bianchi “surprised” by Marussia performance

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Melbourne, 2013Jules Bianchi said he was “surprised” by the performance of the Marussia MR02 when he had his first run in the car ahead of his F1 debut last weekend.

“I was pretty surprised when I drove it for the first time. My expectation was a lot lower than that, I was really happy when I drove it,” said Bianchi in the press conference ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

“I think we can do a good result. We know what we have to improve again so we’re just trying to do that and trying to improve the car, trying to improve myself as well because I’m new in the team, new in Formula One and I want to show people what I’m able to do so I will try to do my best for all the races now.”

Bianchi said his late arrival at the team means he has plenty of progress to make:

“It’s been a very nice weekend for me the first in Australia even if it was quite a late call for me because I didn’t do all the pre-season tests

“I was really happy, I just tried to enjoy and see what we were able to do in the race. Obviously the race went really well, everything was good and we did a good result We know what we have to improve and we will try to do that for the next few races.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Bianchi “surprised” by Marussia performance”

  1. I don’t think Jules was the only one surprised at the performance. I certainly never expected him to be so close to the back of the midfield.

    1. Yes indeed, i think the Marussia’s did a great job and looked very good. Pretty embarassing for Caterham.

  2. Shows what a talented driver can do to impress, even in poor machinery. He was very close to the back of the midfield, and virtually slaughtered Chilton. That being said, I’m now actually very curious to see what someone like Hamilton/Vettel/Alonso can do in a Marussia. Bianchi proved that car isn’t as bad as most people think it is. Perhaps, may a points finish be possible?

    1. I don’t think you can say that Bianchi proved that car isn’t as bad as most people think it is. That had only been possible if his teammate would have been Glock or Pic (last year drivers). It’s pretty obvious that the new Marussia is much better than last year’s car and arguably faster than the Caterham, but you can only compare Bianchi’s speed with Chilton’s (who did not have a problem-free race).

      1. Shows what a talented driver can do to impress, even in poor machinery.

        +1. No mater what your car is, you can shine if you perform well enough, compared to what is expected of the machine.

  3. MB (@muralibhats)
    21st March 2013, 9:05

    What are the chances of Chilton muscling his “power” to get another team mate next year to Bianchi being poached by bigger teams?

    1. I don’t think Chilton will have to worry about having a different team mate next year – if Bianchi carries on as he is, he’ll certainly move up the grid to a much faster team.

      1. MB (@muralibhats)
        21st March 2013, 11:57

        Thats what i had mentioned. which is more likely.

        Red Bull, FI, Lotus or maybe even Ferrari… All will be interested. McLaren too?!

        1. Bianchi is already a Ferrari driver, if he keeps doing this good I think he could replace Massa in a near future (if they can’t go for Hukenberg which is damn good too).

      2. Lets hope so @petebaldwin, lets hope so (or even better have Marussia move up with him!)

  4. He really did a great job after missing all the preparation to this season. Chilton was nowhere close and it will probably stay like this. I was at the track on Sunday (Quali T2, Race T4) and Bianchi has been much faster then MC in these corners. I am very impressed with his driving.

  5. Rui (@ruicaridade)
    21st March 2013, 9:44

    If Grosjean does not impress we may be looking at the next Lotus driver imho.

  6. It was all too evident in Melbourne as to why Max Aon Chilton has a Formula One race seat. Loads of money and modest talent.

    Bianchi will humiliate him this season.

  7. Im half tempted to have punt on him to score a point this weekend. With a very wet weekend forecast i think 16/1 looks pretty good.

  8. And to think, it should’ve been Razia in that car…

    1. @magnificent-geoffrey I kinda wish their line-up had been Bianchi and Razia… Somebody has to pay the bills though.

      1. This. I have no idea if Razia would have been faster than Bianchi with the Marussia, but I am sure Razia would be faster than Chilton even with a punctured tire. The dude is fast and I guess it is a matter of time for him to be driving in F1.

      1. @peartree Yes. He was the man who was originally given the drive. He was supposed to be racing instead of Bianchi.

        1. @magnificent-geoffrey I know that. I was questioning your wording.

  9. I think if Jules Bianchi proves that he will be consistent during all this season, the Force India team would have wasted a big opportunity because the guy is clearly talented and i think that they know this since he was their reserve driver in the last season,but talent without consistency is nothing we saw it last year with both Perez and Maldonando, without also ignoring the fact that Bianchi could have brought for them a Ferrari engine deal

    1. I love the Pope
      21st March 2013, 12:44

      Oh, I don’t know. Perhaps if they would have replaced Paul Diresta, as the rejuvenated Sutil looks good so far. He led the race and finished in the points. Perhaps they should dump the Scot.

      1. Di Resta out qualified Sutil, beating him by over a second in Q2, and did practically the same race time as him – he may well have finished ahead had he not been ordered not to overtake Sutil. So I see no reason to single him out as not delivering.

        1. So I see no reason to single him out as not delivering.

          The problem is that many dislike Di Resta because of his attitude and not his aptitude

          1. The Next Pope
            21st March 2013, 14:16

            And there are also others who jump on the bandwagon, at first it was funny but now it’s just annoying.

        2. Completely agreed.

          The unnecessary hate for Di Resta (and Button) is getting tiring. Especially considering they are British Drivers.

          1. @cg22me not to mention Lewis, strangely a thing of the past it seems.

        3. I really think people are over-exaggerating Sutil’s comeback performance. Throughout the race, the commentators would repeatedly say “Look at Sutil up in the lead wow!” and every time I would just say “Yes but he hasn’t used the duffer tyres yet.” Surely enough, he put them on and shot back down the order. It was always going to happen.

          Di Resta out performed Sutil in qualifying, and I’m pretty certain would have beaten him in the race had Force India not told him to hold his position. Poor decision to let someone who had a quiet but solid race be beaten by someone who managed to be high up on the grid only due to using an alternative strategy and starting on the better tyres. He had a good race, yes, but nothing amazing.

          If anything, it highlights how the “must start on tyres qualified on in Q3” rule is stupid and should be axed.

          1. @barnstabled

            If anything, it highlights how the “must start on tyres qualified on in Q3″ rule is stupid and should be axed.

            You’ll get no argument from me on that.

          2. Please no Sutil bashing. He deserves credit for leading the race, fending off Vettel before his first pitstop and managing his tyres so his first pitstop coincided with the second stop of the leaders. His supersoft tyres were terrible for some reason – they should have been fast but not very durable, but instead he had no pace at all in his last stint. Even so, if Di Resta was so great, it was his mistake not to use the harder tyres in Q3 – I wonder why no-one else did.

  10. As impressive as Bianchi has been in Australia, we mustn’t forget the pitstop times for Chilton.

    Bianchi had 22.669, 23.371, 23.387 second pitstops whereas Chilton’s were 22.948, 30.838, 36.564. Not saying this is the reason, but losing 20+ seconds just in pitstops is rather huge.

    I haven’t followed their lap times over Live Timing hence can’t comment on how fast was Bianchi in the race over Chilton.

    1. To be fair to Chilton, he had his front wing clipped by Van Der Garde and had to pit to have that replaced. That put him further back then he otherwise would’ve been and meant he started to get lapped earlier.

      Bianchi definitely impressed last weekend but let’s not write Chilton off just yet!

      1. That is true but Bianchi didn’t get his wing knocked off by Van Der Garde because he was ahead of him…

        Bianchi has been the fastest of both Marussias and Caterhams in (correct me if I’m wrong here) every session he has taken part in so far. Certainly every session in Australia but from what I remember, the few sessions he took part in during pre season!

        He wasn’t crushing Di Resta when he tested the Force India though so I wouldn’t want to put my neck on the line and say he’s really fast as opposed to Chilton being really slow. Perhaps the Marussia is a decent car and any driver worth a spot in F1 could do what Bianchi is doing?

        It’s hard to tell but whatever the situation, Bianchi is doing a good job given the circumstances.

    2. @evered7 still shouldn’t explain why Bianchi finished a minute ahead of Chilton…

      1. The sooner you start to get lapped, the sooner you start dropping a lot of time. So it does, partially.

  11. I Love the Pope
    21st March 2013, 12:33

    This kid is pretty good! I was pleasantly surprised to see Marussia do as well as it did. It is a nice looking car and they must feel great for beating Caterham.

    If only Chilton wasn’t the other driver, though I understand why he is there. Anyway, go Bianchi!

  12. I’m surprised this news didn’t come up in the main page here… or has it. Marussia do not have a contract with CVC, they’re trying to gather passes to let their engineers in the paddock, and they will be competing for free this weekend.

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