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Rookie diary - Marussia's Jules Bianchi 08 Apr 2013

Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, 14 March 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Sepang, Malaysia, Saturday, 23 March 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 17 March 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35 battle.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02,
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team and Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 17 March 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, 16 March 2013

Despite joining Marussia just days before the start of the 2013 season, 23-year-old French rookie Jules Bianchi has started the year impressively with eye-catching performances in Australia and Malaysia. In the latest of our series charting the personal and professional progress of this year’s Formula One newcomers, Bianchi reflects on missing out on a drive with Force India and how he is settling in at his new team…

“I got the drive with Marussia pretty late so although I didn’t run much in winter testing, I had the chance to do one and a half days which was really good. I felt I was well-prepared in Melbourne and that helped me to do a really good race there. I improved again in Malaysia, so it’s encouraging for the rest of the season.

“It was quite difficult for me to see that Force India wanted another driver (Adrian Sutil) but after that I had the chance to be with Marussia and I’m really happy to be here. I think we’ve got a good team and we’re improving all the time, which is positive. I think we can be a very good team soon.

“The fact that Force India didn’t want me doesn’t change anything - I’ve always been motivated so I don’t have an extra feeling to prove myself. I just want to prove that I’m good enough to be in F1 and that I deserve a seat, so I’m just trying to do my best.

“Last year I was the reserve driver for Force India, but this year as a race driver it is totally different. As a reserve driver you are there sitting there and don’t really know what to do because you only get to race if someone is ill or something like that. To be an official driver is something really good - it’s a very different feeling.

Marussia operates in a very similar way to Force India or Ferrari (who Bianchi has also tested for). We need to improve, we know that, but we work in the same way - there’s no big difference between Marussia, Ferrari and Force India.

“It’s a really nice feeling to be in this team. I didn’t spend much time with them before the season so I don’t really know everyone at the moment, but for sure I have a good relationship with them. It’s a very friendly team, like a small family and smaller than the other teams I’ve been in. That’ll make it easier for me to learn everybody’s name!

“Life hasn’t changed away from the track since I became a full-time F1 driver. I am training a lot, but I was last year and the year before. So life is pretty similar, although I am a bit busier because I have a few other things to do.

“I’m very happy with the way things have gone so far this season - we finished the first two races with good results (15th in Australia, 13th in Malaysia), but we still need to keep working because we want more than that. We need to make a step forward now and see what we can do.

“For sure it was a bit strange when I did the first drivers’ parade in Australia with the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton because I was used to watching it on TV rather than being on it. It’s something different but at the end of the day we are here to race each other so we are on the same level, even if I’m here to learn at the moment. So it’s a bit strange, but nice at the same time.

“I’m looking forward to every race because when it comes to Formula One you want to drive all the time. For sure I will be really happy to race in Monaco because it’s like my home race - I was born in Nice which is about 20km away. I will be really pleased to get there.

“The first target for me for the rest of the year is to finish every race. I will try not to make any mistakes, although I think that it will be difficult to go a whole season without making a single mistake.

“Being an F1 driver is something I’ve been looking forward to all my life. It’s something special and I enjoy it a lot and I hope it will stay like this for the whole season. There are only 22 F1 drivers in the world so you have to smile and enjoy what you are doing.”

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