Team: Marussia Nationality: French Birth date: 03/08/1989
First F1 race: Australian Grand Prix, 2013 2012 points: NA 2012 best finish: NA 2012 championship position: NA
Bianchi comes from good stock when it comes to motor racing – his grandfather Mauro was a three-time GT world champion, while his great uncle Lucien won the 24-hour endurance race in Le Mans in 1968 – but he had to wait until the 11th hour for his participation in the 2013 season to be confirmed.
Dramatically overlooked for a spot on the Force India team, in favour of tempestuous German veteran Adrian Sutil, it was only after Marussia expressed reservations about preferred choice Luis Razia’s funding that Bianchi got the nod.
At this level of the Formula One hierarchy, it’s not uncommon for drivers to contribute towards team costs, rather than the other way round. In the end, it seems, Razia simply couldn’t compete with Bianchi when it came to attracting lucrative sponsorship.
Not that Bianchi should just be considered a privileged rich kid with good connections, the 23-year-old is a talented driver with a promising future. Impressive in the junior ranks as a Formula 3 European champion and a GP2 Series challenger, Bianchi spent time testing for Ferrari as part of their Driver Academy.
Some are even tipping him to eclipse senior partner Max Chilton as the star of the Marussia show this season. That would certainly give grandfather and great uncle something to smile about.
2013 predictions: “This season I just want to try and get a lot of experience and try to do the best races that I can. I think this is normal for a driver and I will try to thank Marussia by delivering good results.”
Did you know?
Bianchi is managed by Nicolas Todt, son of former Ferrari boss Jean Todt who now runs the FIA, who also looks after Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa.