Tag Archives: Jules Bianchi

F1Weekly podcast # 665

Clark and Nasir share their thoughts on F1W family member Jules Bianchi. We have Tech Talk with Tim and special interview with up and coming race car driver Jehan Daruvala.  We also have some updates on Max Verstappen.

Verstappen wins, Ocon is the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European 

Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing) claimed his ninth victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in an action-packed 30th race of the season. At the 4.909 kilometres long Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, the 17-year-old Dutchman won from Italian Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam) and Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam). For 18-year-old Frenchman Ocon, who is backed by the Lotus Formula 1 team, third place was enough to win an early title in the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship. As a reward, he will do a test with a Ferrari Formula 1 car at the Fiorano circuit on October 29.

Antonio Fuoco already took the lead from Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon before the first corner. With a very good start, he thus managed to move up from third on the grid to first place. Later on the opening lap, Edward Jones (Carlin) ploughed through the gravel trap and hit Antonio Giovinazzi’s (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) car as he swerved back onto the track. The Italian spun and retired and so did Jones. The race director sent the safety car out after the incident.

Only a few laps later, an off-track excursion by Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing) prompted the second safety car intervention. At the restart on lap nine, Verstappen overtook race leader Fuoco and claimed back first place. On lap eleven, the safety car was deployed again after Felix Rosenqvist (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport) had collided with Jordan King (Carlin) and couldn’t avoid an impact into the barriers.

Max Verstappen also held on to his first place after the third restart of the race. He then safely brought this position home after the remaining laps and celebrated his first win of the weekend. Antonio Fuoco took the flag in second place and his many fans hailed him as the best-placed Italian in the race. Esteban Ocon was buoyant as well as his third place was enough to wrap up the 2014 FIA Formula 3 European Championship title early. Nicholas Latifi (Prema Powerteam) finished fourth in the final race of the Imola round, followed by Tom Blomqvist (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and William Buller (Signature). Thus, Buller scored not only his first points of the season, but also the first points for the Signature team that contested its first race weekend of the 2014 season at Imola. Jake Dennis (Carlin), Lucas Auer (kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport), Félix Serrallés (Team West-Tec F3) and Gustavo Menezes (Van Amersfoort Racing) rounded out the top ten.

Max Verstappen (Van Amersfoort Racing): “I lost a position after the start, but I knew that my car was fast and that the race was long. Therefore, I kept cool and I waited for an opportunity. My car was already fast on the two days of testing and that was the case today as well.”

Antonio Fuoco (Prema Powerteam): “I am happy with second place and I am not disappointed for having missed out on victory. It was clear to me that Max was quicker and that I wouldn’t have had a chance against him. I wasn’t happy with my first two races, but now, I am glad by my podium finish in my home round. I would like to dedicate this second place to my friend Jules Bianchi.”

Esteban Ocon (Prema Powerteam): “I am really happy that I am the new FIA Formula 3 European Champion. It is unbelievable, I simply don’t know what to say. I will celebrate the title in style with my team tonight. My race wasn’t too bad. I didn’t want to take too many risks in the first corner and I slotted into third place. Later on, I simply followed my team-mate Antonio, who was in second place. I knew that third place would be enough for me, too.”


Formula 1



We have appointed 23 year old Frenchman Jules Bianchi to a race seat for the 2013 season.

Jules will participate in the remaining two days of the final pre-season test in Barcelona this week to acquaint himself with the MR02 race car ready for the start of the 2013 season in Australia in two weeks’ time.

The move follows the Team’s termination of Luiz Razia’s contract.

John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team

“We are very pleased to welcome Jules Bianchi to the Marussia F1 Team. Jules is a proven talent who is highly regarded within the Paddock. He has been on a clear trajectory towards Formula 1 and has achieved some impressive performances through the various feeder formulae, notably his 2012 season in Formula Renault 3.5 when he was also Reserve Driver for Force India. He is part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and his obvious pedigree put him on the radar for a number of teams over the winter as a driver ready to step up to Formula 1.

“We have found ourselves in a situation where we have had to terminate our contract with Luiz Razia. Having made clear the basis on which we must operate in 2013, and given the steps we had taken to put that new structure in place, we had no alternative but to remain true to the principles which we had identified as being key to securing our long-term future.

“We can now focus on the remainder of the testing programme and preparing for what looks to be a promising season for our Team. Jules can now look forward to a very swift initiation into the Team over the course of the next two days here in Barcelona, when he is expected to run for one and a half days to afford both our drivers some dry running with the latest aero specification.”

Jules Bianchi, Driver #22

“I am thrilled to have secured a race seat with the Marussia F1 Team. Racing in Formula 1 this season has been my goal over the winter and after evaluating a number of options I am very excited to have this opportunity to demonstrate that I am ready for this next step in my racing career. I am also very grateful to the Ferrari Driver Academy that has always supported me and has given me the possibility to mature as a racing driver enabling me to be fully prepared for this new exciting challenge. The next two weeks of preparation for the season will be incredibly busy but I am ready to get started tomorrow with my first day in the MR02.



Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) has been in impressive form since breaking into Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and the Portuguese served further notice of his talent on Saturday, making a late dart past Sam Bird (ISR) to snatch his third win of the season. Having made a perfect start, the Briton had to settle for second, while Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) took third to move into the points lead, ahead of Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing), who suffered a last-lap mishap.

The yellow and red flags were out in force during a stop-start qualifying session, though the interruptions did not prevent championship leader Jules Bianchi from seizing his fifth pole of the campaign, ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Sam Bird. Second in the standings at the start of the day, Robin Frijns could only qualify in sixth.

Antonio Felix da Costa made the most of a slow start by Jules Bianchi to grab first as the lights went out, though Sam Bird was in the right place at the right time at turn one and promptly relieved the Portuguese of the lead. Right behind them in third was a surging Robin Frijns, with Kevin Magnussen fourth and poleman Jules Bianchi suddenly down in fifth.

While Antonio Felix da Costa clung on to Sam Bird’s tail, Robin Frijns pulled away from Kevin Magnussen, who had in turn pulled out a gap over Jules Bianchi. Behind them Will Stevens (Carlin) and Kevin Korjus (Lotus) diced it out for sixth.

As the laps went by, the front two pulled ever further away from Frijns, Magnussen and Bianchi, who were engaged in an increasingly tight scrap, the Frenchman getting right on the tail of the Dane and the Dutchman, with Will Stevens and Kevin Korjus not very far behind either.

Antonio Felix da Costa and Sam Bird were treading much more carefully up ahead, though with 12 minutes remaining the Portuguese dived past the Briton on the final chicane and sped off to make it three wins for the season, with Bird settling for second and Robin Frijns doing likewise for third.

To their rear Jules Bianchi was doing all he could to grab fourth from a determined Kevin Magnussen, the Frenchman making a last-lap assault on the Dane that ended with the two of them spinning off. Both were able to resume, however, Magnussen coming home in fifth and Bianchi seventh, the Frenchman now trailing new championship leader Robin Frijns by four points heading into Sunday’s title-deciding race.

What they said:

Antonio Felix da Costa: “This win is reward for all the work we’ve been doing with the team since I came into Formula Renault 3.5 Series. I don’t want to get involved in the championship race, and I’m just trying to stay out of trouble and not hit anyone. I got past Sam (Bird) fair and square, which is the important thing.”

Sam Bird: “My tyres went after three laps. Antonio could see that and he waited until the time was right to make his move. The championship could have been all over for me today, but I’m still in with a chance of clinching the title tomorrow. We now know who the top three are going to be. We just have to wait and see what the order will be.”

Robin Frijns: “I needed a good getaway from sixth and that’s just what I got. When I realised I couldn’t keep up with the front two I just focused on Kevin Magnussen. I made sure of my place at the end of the race and I’m on top in the standings again, though there’s still all to play for tomorrow.”



While all eyes are on the championship duel between Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing), Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) and Sam Bird (ISR), Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) are in no mood to make up the numbers on the final weekend of the season. The Dane and the Portuguese shone in the dry and the wet in Friday’s two collective testing sessions, while the three leaders in the points went about their preparations for the final push of the campaign.

Rain was falling when the 26 drivers arrived for the final two Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective testing sessions of the season. Among them was Hungarian racer Tamas Pal Kiss, who is making his return for BVM Target. Competing on their last weekend in the category are Franco-Russian outfit Team RFR, who will make way for AV Formula on Monday.

Nico Muller (International Draco Racing) and Sam Bird were the first to settle in the wet conditions, though the session was soon interrupted by a red flag when Daniel Abt (Tech 1 Racing) went off.

On the resumption, Antonio Felix da Costa made the most of a clear track to set a fastest lap of 1:51.961, putting him ahead of Sam Bird and Nico Muller before the red flag came out again, this time when Yann Cunha (Pons Racing) and Tamas Pal Kiss had grassy moments. The Portuguese stayed out front in what remained of the opening session, leading the way from Sam Bird and Nico Muller, with Will Stevens (Carlin) and Arthur Pic (Dams) rounding off the top five.

Slicks were the only option in the afternoon, by which time track conditions had improved considerably. Kevin Korjus (Lotus) set the tempo before a short neutralisation period triggered by Arthur Pic grinding to a halt on the track. Antonio Felix da Costa was at it again on the restart as he went fastest in a time of 1:31.481, with Kevin Magnussen second, just 0.040s off the pace.

Kevin Korjus then barged in front, while Antonio Felix da Costa collided with the track barrier, prompting the red flag to put in another appearance and leading to the Portuguese’s fastest time being wiped, in accordance with the regulations. Then, with just a few seconds to go before the chequered flag, Kevin Magnussen went top of the times with a lap of 1:30.736, the day’s quickest. Completing the top five behind him were Kevin Korjus, Sam Bird, Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham) and Will Stevens (Carlin).

What they said:

Kevin Magnussen: “I’d rather be involved in the title battle with Jules Bianchi, Robin Frijns and Sam Bird. All the same, this is the type of weekend where there’s always something going on. All in all it’s been a disappointing season because we’ve shown we’ve got the pace and we’ve had the means to do well in the overall standings. We’ve just lacked consistency and success, which is all part of the learning process at the highest level. Even so, I really want to finish the season on a high note.”

Antonio Felix da Costa: “The car went very well in the wet this morning. It started the afternoon well too, but I came across a wet kerb as I was overtaking some slower cars and just lost it. Luckily there wasn’t too much damage. I’m going to drive the same way as I have at other weekends, racing my race without bothering about what everyone else is doing and trying to avoid any kind of contact.”

Jules Bianchi: “I need to look on this as just another weekend and not put any extra pressure on myself. There’s no point in that. We went about our work today the same way we usually do, though I’m still not that happy with the car this afternoon. We need to work out why that is. It’s good to be in the lead, but my main objective is to have a competitive car for the rest of the weekend.”

WSR 3.5

Maiden victory for Antonio Felix da Costa

Having driven a superb race, Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) seemed on course to claim his second win of the season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. However, on the final lap, the Dane was forced to stop his car following a gearbox oil leak. This allowed Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) to grab victory for the first time in the competition. Marco Sorensen (Lotus) finished second and Will Stevens (Carlin) came third to complete an all-rookie podium. Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports), meanwhile, strengthened his championship lead and finishes the weekend with a 24-point advantage at the top.

Robin Frijns qualified seven thousandths of a second quicker than Kevin Magnussen to take his fourth pole of the season, after a session in which 16 drivers were separated by less than a second. Arthur Pic (Dams) and Antonio Felix da Costa lined up on the second row, while Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing) and Sam Bird (ISR) – Frijns’s main title rivals – started in seventh and ninth respectively.

As the lights went out, Robin Frijns stayed glued to the starting grid, allowing Kevin Magnussen to take the lead ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Sam Bird. Marco Sorensen got away in fifth place ahead of Arthur Pic, while Robin Frijns slipped down into seventh, just in front of Jules Bianchi. The order changed again on lap three when Jules Bianchi was overtaken by Kevin Korjus. Robin Frijns gained a place the following lap by overtaking Arthur Pic, a move that saw the championship leader climb into sixth place.

With the mantatory pitstop looming, Robin Frijns closed in on Marco Sorensen. Sam Bird was the first of the frontrunners to enter the pits for a change of tyres. Robin Frijns made his stop a lap later, at the same time as Arthur Pic, but the Dutchman rejoined the race behind the Frenchman.

With all the drivers having made their stops, Kevin Magnussen regained the race lead, with Antonio Felix da Costa, Marco Sorensen, Will Stevens, Sam Bird, Arthur Pic and Robin Frijns chasing behind. There was little action of note between the front pair, with Kevin Magnussen managing his race superbly and maintaining a comfortable lead over Antonio Felix da Costa.

But while the order at the front seemed settled, there was a thrilling battle for fifth place in the closing stages of the race. As the laps went by, Robin Frijns grew increasingly impatient behind Arthur Pic and Sam Bird. Frijns eventually pounced on a mistake by Pic and moved up into sixth place.

At the end of the race, the tension in the Carlin camp was palpable as white smoke began to appear from Kevin Magnussen’s car. In the final lap, the Dane was forced to stop his car after falling foul of gearbox oil leak. Antonio Felix da Costa took advantage to snatch a last-gasp victory ahead of Marco Sorensen and Will Stevens. Sam Bird finished fourth, just ahead of Robin Frijns. The result sees Frijns retain his place at the top of the championship with a 24-point lead over Jules Bianchi, who crossed the line in ninth.

What they said:

Antonio Felix da Costa: “I was handed the win after Kevin Magnussen retired. I feel sorry for him, but that’s racing, and it happened to me last week in the GP3 Series. This is a first victory for me and for Arden Caterham, so it’s obviously a great day for us. This isn’t my favourite circuit, but I won both races here in GP3 and now I’ve got my first victory in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.”

Marco Sorensen: “I’ve had my share of bad luck, particularly at Silverstone, where a puncture cost me the victory. So I’m happy to be back on the podium. We weren’t quite up to scratch in qualifying this weekend. We’ll have to work on that aspect to have a hope of winning one of the remaining races.”

Will Stevens: “Of course, I feel sorry for Kevin. As for me, I learn something every time I get into the car, as I’ve joined directly from the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. I’m picking up the pace with each race, and this podium is a reward for all the hard work that Carlin and I have been putting in.”

WSR 3.5

Robin Frijns wins to extend championship lead…

Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) increased his championship lead with victory at the Hungaroring, and in doing so became the first driver to record three victories in this season’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Frijns led race one from start to finish to win from Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing). The 2011 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion now holds a 16-point lead over Jules Bianchi, who moves up to second, and is 29 points clear of Sam Bird (ISR).

After an extremely hard-fought qualifying session, Robin Frijns became the third driver this year to claim three pole positions after Kevin Magnussen and Jules Bianchi, who qualified in second and third respectively.

The sun finally came out as the 26 cars lined up on the starting grid, against the backdrop of a stunning air display. Robin Frijns reacted quickest as the lights went out to lead into turn one, ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Jules Bianchi, Arthur Pic and Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham).

Robin Frijns pushed hard in the early stages of the race as he looked to pull away from his rivals. Kevin Magnussen managed to keep pace with the leader, while Jules Bianchi gradually lost contact with the pair. Arthur Pic, in fourth, headed up a compact chasing pack, with Antonio Felix da Costa, Nico Müller (International Draco Racing), Carlos Huertas (Fortec Motorsports), Marco Sorensen (Lotus) and Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham) all on his tail.

On lap eight, Kevin Magnussen made a slight mistake that saw him lose touch with Robin Frijns. Antonio Felix da Costa, meanwhile, passed Arthur Pic to move up into fourth place.

By the halfway stage, Robin Frijns’s lead over Kevin Magnussen had levelled out to around two seconds, with the same margin separating the Dane from Jules Bianchi. The closing stages of the race were fairly straightforward for the leading trio, and it was Robin Frijns who eventually took the chequered flag for his third win of the season, having led from start to finish. Kevin Magnussen, for his part, came home in second to return to the points positions, having failed to score at all at Silverstone. Jules Bianchi finished third to move up to second in the championship standings, 16 points behind leader Robin Frijns. Sam Bird, however, could only manage a disappointing tenth place.

What they said:

Robin Frijns: “It’s been the perfect day, with a good performance in qualifying and a race victory. The race wasn’t easy, as I had to contain Kevin Magnussen. Sixteen points is a good lead, but it’s not enough. Since the start of the season, I’ve often been unlucky in one of the two races and I know that Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird don’t give an inch. So I’ll need a second good day tomorrow to make this weekend a success.”

Kevin Magnussen: “On the whole, I’ve lacked consistency this year. Sometimes things have gone really well, and I’ve won both races, while other times things haven’t gone so well, like with the two retirements at Silverstone. So, my goal now is to build on this and score points in every race. I’m pleased with this second place.”

Jules Bianchi: “The championship remains open, but Robin Frijns did another great job today. It’s not going to be easy if he maintains this form. As for me, we were on the pace in qualifying but not during the race. I made a few mistakes as I couldn’t keep up with the pace, and we’ll need to do some work so that we can bounce back tomorrow.”