Latest News / Interview

The First Time - with Marussia's Jules Bianchi

27 Aug 2014

Jules Bianchi scored the first points of his Formula One career earlier this year with a brilliant drive to ninth place in Monaco - rather apt considering the first Grand Prix the 25-year-old Frenchman ever attended as a child was in Monte Carlo. Discover more of the Ferrari Driver Academy member’s ‘firsts’ in this exclusive interview, including crashes, kisses, cooking and more…

Who was your first hero when you were a child?

Jules Bianchi: It was Michael Schumacher. When I was young my life revolved around motorsport. I started go-karting when I was three years old and then I watched Formula One and I liked Michael because he was winning at the time.

What was the first Grand Prix you can remember watching?

JB: I can’t remember the year, but I remember going to watch the Monaco Grand Prix one year when I was around five years old. I went with some friends of my parents and we sat in the grandstand at the Swimming Pool. It was really nice.

When did you first decide you wanted to be an F1 driver?

JB: I started to think about F1 later on. When you’re young you dream of F1, but I also knew that it would be really difficult. I just tried to go as quick as possible every time I went on track and not think about F1. It was more when I started racing in junior categories that I thought about F1.

When was your first big accident in a race car?

JB: I didn’t have a big one in karting and in single-seaters the biggest one I had was in Hungary in 2010 [Bianchi fractured his spine when he spun and was hit by another car].

What colour was your first helmet?

JB: Blue, red and grey. I didn’t design it myself but I chose the colours.

When did you win your first trophy and what did it look like?

JB: It was in karting. I started go-karting when I was three but I couldn’t start racing properly until I was 10. I got my first trophy at the end of my first season. I still have it - it’s at my parents - but it’s not very big!

What was the first road car you drove?

JB: A Mini. It was the first car I got when I got my licence.

Where was the first house you lived in?

JB: In a place called Cagnes-sur-Mer in the south of France near Nice. It was a cool place to grow up.

How nervous were you on your first day of school?

JB: I wasn’t nervous, but I didn’t like school.

What was the first sport you participated in as a child?

JB: Apart from go-karting, I did some judo when I was about six or seven.

What was the first meal you ever cooked?

JB: It was pasta with tomatoes and actually it was not so good. I know pasta is normally very easy to do, but I am not a good cook. The pasta was not good and the tomato sauce tasted bad.

What was the first thing you did this morning?

JB: Checked my phone.

What was the first thing you did after getting your first F1 seat?

JB: I called my family and arranged to celebrate with them.

What was the first record you bought?

JB: It was by a French singer called MC Solaar. He’s a rap artist. It was long time ago - ten years ago or something. He was very popular at the time, but not so much now.

When was your first romantic kiss?

JB: My first one? It was not recently! The first time I kissed a girl was when I was nine or ten.

When was the first time you were asked to sign an autograph for a fan?

JB: Probably when I started in Formula Three in 2008.

When did you first taste champagne?

JB: When I got on the podium, not in go-karts - because the champagne was alcohol-free - but in Formula Renault.

Which would you eat first - a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate?

JB: Chocolate. I like dark chocolate. If any driver says fruit they are lying!

What was the first word you said as a baby?

JB:I have no idea - I guess it was ‘mamma’ or something like that.

When was the first time that you were called before the stewards?

JB: Probably in karting when I was 12. I think I’d pushed someone in the race or something. They just wanted to say that it’s not good to do this and if I did it again I’d been punished. I felt bad - it upset me a bit.

How old were you when you had your first shave?

JB: I was about 17 or 18.