Friday, 1 March 2013

Jules Bianchi replaces Razia at Marussia

One day after missing out on the second Force India seat, Jules Bianchi has replaced Luiz Razia at Marussia after the Brazilian failed to follow up with his initial payment for the seat. He will partner Max Chilton at the Anglo-Russian squad. Razia was initially brought in after the team chose to terminate it's contract with Timo Glock at the start of the year.

Bianchi, 23, was set to stay on as Force India's reserve driver and had been testing with the Silverstone squad during winter testing at Jerez and Barcelona prior to the announcement. He will get his first taste of Marussia's 2013 challenger when he gets behind the wheel of it in Barcelona tomorrow (2nd March). He will also have half a day's running the day after.

Despite strictly being a rookie, Jules Bianchi goes into his first F1 season with a great deal of experience after spending 2012 as Force India's third driver, taking part in the young driver test for them in addition to taking part in nine Friday free practice sessions. He has also been a part of the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) since 2009 and has taken part in four young driver tests for the Italian outfit (2009-12) as well as carrying out simulator and development work for the team. When contacted by DW Motorsport, Ferrari confirmed that 'He will still be part of (the) FDA, indeed'.

Bianchi is highly regarded in Formula One circles after taking the 2009 F3 Euroseries title with nine wins out of 20. Since 2010, he has competed in GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 Series, finishing third twice in GP2 before clinching runner up spot in FR3.5 last year, missing out on the title to Dutchman Robin Frijns after a controversial final round at Barcelona.

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