Bianchi to remain at Marussia in 2014

2014 F1 season

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Marussia have confirmed Jules Bianchi will continue to drive for them in 2014.

The Ferrari development driver made his debut for the team this season. Marussia will use Ferrari engines next year.

“I couldn’t have wished for a more supportive environment in which to make my F1 debut and from the very beginning I have always felt completely at home with the team,” said Bianchi.

“We started the season very well and while the challenge has increased as the season has developed, we have learned important lessons together that will place us in a much stronger position next year when there are a lot of changes for the sport and the team to get used to.

“I am very excited to be part of the team as we all enter this new era of F1 and I look forward to achieving some rewarding performances together. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Ferrari Driver Academy for their continued support for my career.”

Bianchi was an 11th-hour hiring for the team this season after Luiz Razia’s financial backing failed to come through.

Team principal John Booth praised the job Bianchi had done with limited preparation: “Jules joined us at very short notice at the end of pre-season testing, with only two days of running under his belt.”

“He rose to the challenge of his debut season exceptionally well and since that time has clearly demonstrated his ability and potential.

“2014 heralds a new era for the sport and continuity and consistency of line-up will be important in helping us to navigate the transition. We look forward to confirming our full race driver line-up later in the season.”

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Image © Marussia

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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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28 comments on “Bianchi to remain at Marussia in 2014”

  1. And thus Bianchi becomes the second driver not to be dropped after one year by Virgin/Marussia.
    Either way, it means less possible fighting for the Sauber seat/s.

  2. As nice as it would be to Jules in a quicker car, I think a couple of years with a backmarker, and out of the spotlight, will be good for his development.

    Hopefully next year’s Marussia will be closer to the pack and he can spend more time duelling with drivers from other teams, not just his teamate.

    Speaking of which, given Marussia’s financial position it is hard to see them not renewing Chilton’s contract, unless someone like Nasr offers them an even bigger fisful of cash.

    1. @tdog,

      I think a couple of years with a backmarker, and out of the spotlight, will be good for his development.

      A year out of the spotlight might be comfortable, but I don’t see how driving for a backmarker team is good for his development. He hardly does any racing (only the occasional scrap with a Caterham, and it’s usually meaningless anyway), and he’s just driving around in a car that’s so far off the pace it’s not representative of a ‘real’ Formula 1 car; it’s more like he’s driving a GP1.5 car.

      Jules has been hanging around long enough in the junior categories, and this season he has shown he deserves a shot in a proper F1 car, so it’s a shame he’s not getting one.

      1. @adrianmorse So another full season of learning more about car setup and telemetry, working on consistency, strengthening relationships with his team and engineers, improving race-fitness and learning to deal with the pressures and demands of the sport and it’s media counts for nothing? Nonsense.

        Seat time in F1 is gold dust, whether you’re racing other cars or not. Bottas didn’t race a single opponent throughout 2012, but he certainly hit the ground running this year.

        Don’t underestimate the value of experience, whichever end of the grid the car is at.

        1. @bookoi +1
          Sadly, the only other answer would be to not be in F1 at all for Bianchi right now. At least he is still in and who knows, maybe Marussia will be better next season. The Ferrari connection is there and I think his future is quite bright. I would love to see Bianchi score some points before this season is over. It could require some unusual conditions, but you never know!

  3. It is a bit disappointing but under the circumstance , the sauber pairing becomes less tangled and much less unpredictable . Assuming they go with Esteban and sirotkin , one of either Hulkenberg or Massa has to quit as I don’t see Force India dumping PDR or Sutil . However , if Hulkenberg is available and if he has no other choice (this means massa goes to Lotus ) would he pair up with Force India again?

    1. I reckon Hulkenberg to Lotus is a matter of when not if.

      1. hm, it seems there is still an option of McLaren offering Hulk the seat if Perez doesn’t make it @casanova

        1. This would never happen…

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      3rd October 2013, 8:24

      @hamilfan You don’t think Force India are looking at other driver options? Di Resta is making rookie errors and sometimes it’s hard to remember that Sutil is on the racetrack. They are certainly looking at replaced at least one driver, and in that driver’s place we could find Massa, or Calado, or Magnussen even. Maybe even Grosjean, because Lotus have got the immense talent of Hulkenberg knocking on their door, and the cash that Massa brings putting incentive above his name. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lotus field Hulkenberg and Massa in 2014, and if Force India field Grosjean and di Resta. Well, at least we now know where the focus is in the 2014 driver market, namely Lotus and Force India, and for just four seats we have Hulkenberg, Massa, Di Resta, Sutil, Grosjean, Calado, Magnussen, Vandoorne and probably more besides lining up for a seat. It should be quite interesting…

      1. Autosport says Di Resta has a contract, and although the last two races have involved mistakes, one the FI bosses admitted that the mistake in Singapore was very uncharacteristic of Di Resta, and up until then his pace was BRILLIANT and he was smoking Sutil, who can look very anonymous at times. As Di Resta has a contract if Force India, if they’re going to replace anyone it would be Sutil, as they weren’t bothered about doing 2 years ago, but only for someone like Hulenberg, they’d value Sutil’s experience next year.

      2. Force India need some big cojones if they want to replace Sutil with Grosjean . Besides Grosjean has always had the support of Lotus and he has the pace and backing . So I believe hulk with GRO next year . Maybe Massa in a Force India ? But as you say if ferrari back massa’s future , then we will have to see if they can ‘totally’ ditch grosjean

  4. As long as I’m wishing, I might as well wish for Bianchi in a Ferrari in 2015.

    1. most probably in 2016 or 2017

    2. Probably 2016 after Raikkonen finishes his contract.

  5. Now if only someone can confirm Marussia in F1 for 2014…

  6. Good news. I’d rather Bianchi have a seat at Marussia for 2014 than no seat at all, he’s an exciting prospect.

  7. I was hoping he’d maybe take Riccardo’s Torri Rosso seat. He deserves better.

  8. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    3rd October 2013, 8:13

    Very interesting, and yet again it seems I have been proved correct in doubting whether he’d go to Sauber. Is this good enough grounds to say that Sauber will be fielding Gutierrez and Sirotkin in 2014, or, as Martin Brundle said, “the blind leading the blind”?

    From what I understand, Force India are looking to replace one of their drivers. A few races ago I would have said that Sutil with his incredibly mediocre form and lack of contract for 2014 is looking set to be replaced, but following a chain of frankly rookie errors from di Resta, I think either driver could be replaced. By whom I hear you ask? Well, before this announcement it seemed to me a clear fight between Bianchi and Calado, but it no longer seems that there is anything in the way of James’ well deserved step up to F1.

    But hang on, what was it McLaren said a few weeks back? “We want Magnussen and Vandoorne in F1”, which is probably the wisest thing to be uttered by a McLaren employee for a good few months now, but with Marussia (surely it was the obvious destination for the two McLaren juniors what with McLaren’s foot in the door with the team) having Bianchi in one seat for 2014, and almost certainly the blonde haired piggy bank with Aon written on it in the other, where will they go? GP2? Haven’t these guys already proved that they’re ready for F1? Could Magnussen be parachuted into a Force India perhaps? It would make sense to me.

    1. Apparently McLaren have offered to write some of Force India’s debts off (or something similar) that are owed to McLaren to put Magnussen in one of their cars. So Force India would save money by having a very talented driver in one of their seats. It’s a no-brainer surely.
      And as for the other seat, I’d say it’s between Hulkenberg, Massa (whichever isn’t at Lotus in 2014 as I don’t think Grosjean will be dropped), di Resta and Sutil. I think di Resta is most at risk of losing his seat due to the errors you mentioned, his poor form and that (if I am correct) he doesn’t bring sponsorship of note.

  9. This surely means that Sauber are going with Sirotkin and Guti. My God. I rate Esteban, he’s won Formula BMW championships and GP3, but he’s so inexperienced and would be out of his depth leading a team. But Bianchi should grateful he has a seat, and Marussia should be faster next year. If Hulkenberg doesn’t get the Lotus seat then I can see him reuniting with Di Resta at Force India with his tail between his legs, if they’ll take him back! Many people and talking about the Mclaren juniors getting seats but although they’ll talented, I don’t see a space for them. The only rookies next year will most likely be Sirotkin, Felix Da Costa and maybe Nasr (He’s fast and has good backing)

  10. This is a great decision by Marussia. I can’t think of one driver they’ve had over the last four seasons that has the potential Bianchi has. I think one more year in Marussia, while disappointing, isn’t the end of the world and hopefully he’ll be better prepared for a better drive when one does come along. I hope Marussia can bridge the gap to the midfield in 2014 and allows Bianchi to fight someone other than the Caterhams.

  11. A very admirable decision by Bianchi, too. With so many places available in better teams for 2014, for him to commit so early to Marussia shows that his feet are firmly on the ground and that he doesn’t believe he is bigger than the team. It’s this sort of attitude that Ferrari will be loving, no doubt.

  12. I guess its good to see Marussia is keeping a driver for a change. Surely Bianchi showed that he does belong in the sport. Now if only the team managed to get a bit closer to the field with the new 2014 rules …

  13. Is it just me or does Bianchi look slightly like Alonso?

    1. No way!
      But in potential, possibly!
      But he looks nothing like Alonso!

  14. My favourite driver in my favourite team!
    Huge fan of Bianchi, huge fan of Marussia!
    I keep wondering what would have happened if
    Marussia went with Bianchi/Glock.Awesome line-up
    for a new team!

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