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How’s he doing? Jules Bianchi

10 May

We’re four races in to F1 2013 so lets see how the new drivers have been getting on.

Remind me, how did you rate him before the start of the season?

I rated Bianchi as the best of the new drivers, I touted him to be France’s next world champion and thought he would be all to good for his Marussia team mate (Max Chilton).

And has he fulfilled this potential?

Bianchi has more than exceeded my expectations, of his 4 races so far he’s been a star in three of them and has more than outperformed Chilton. He’s constantly been the best qualified and finished of the newer teams and has spent times racing against midfield cars. If this season continues like it has been so far Marussia could qualify for Q2 and if a high attrition race come along they could pick up points.

How have Marussia done so far?

Marussia have been one of the best teams so far, they’ve started the season strongly and are easily quicker than Caterham. It looks like it would take a miracle for Marussia not to finish 10th in the constructors standings.

So how do you rate his season so far?

9/10 easily the best rookie so far and it looks like he’ll just get better and better.

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How’s he doing? Esteban Gutierrez

4 May

We’re four races in to F1 2013 so lets see how the new drivers have been getting on.

Remind me how did you rate him before the start of the season?

I rated Esteban highly (7.5/10) despite the large amount of money that he brings to Sauber. This high rating was given because of his strong performances at every level he’d driven in pre F1.

And how’s he got on so far?

Dismally, he’s been well and truly out performed by team mate Hulkenburg and has been knocked out of qualifying in Q1 three times out of four, and at the Chinese GP he ran heavily into the back of Adrian Sutil which saw Esteban receive a 5 place grid penalty.

How does that compare to his team mate?

Whilst Esteban has struggled to make it out of Q1 team mate Hulkenburg has comfortably made it to Q2 every week and in China made it through to Q3. Hulkenburg has also picked up points (unlike Gutierrez) and has performed well, at times competing with those drivers at the front.

Sauber’s car for this season does not appear to be as good as last year’s car, this one is already losing out to Force India, but it may be that Sauber have already started work on the 2014 car which would explain why they haven’t performed so strongly this season.

How would you rate his performances so far?

3/10 So far the least impressive of the rookies.

How’s he doing? Max Chilton

1 May

We’re four races in to F1 2013 so lets see how the new drivers have been getting on.

Remind me how did you rate him before the season started?

I classed Max as a driver who’d got to where he was due to his father’s money, but said that he was clearly talented and deserved his place in F1. I rated him 7/10.

And has he lived up to those expectations?

He’s been no where near them, he’s been thoroughly outperformed by team mate Jules Bianchi and does not appear to be taking his Marussia to the level it can compete at.

How’s he done in comparison to his team mate?

Dreadfully, in qualifying Chilton hasn’t been far off Bianchi, but the gap’s been larger during races where Bianchi’s regularly been fighting with midfield teams whilst Chilton’s had to try to beat Caterham.

This year’s Marussia has been much better than last year’s and appears to be more than capable of beating the Caterham’s week in week out.

How would you rate him so far?

6/10 A let down so far, maybe it’s just his lack of time in a Formula 1 car before this season, or maybe he’s never going to be good enough.

How’s he doing? Valtteri Bottas

29 Apr

We’re four races in to F1 2013 so lets see how the new drivers have been getting on.

Remind me, how did you rate him before the season started?

I expected him to pick up points and classed him as one of the most exciting new talents into F1 in a long time.

And how’s he got on so far this season?

No where near as good as everyone expected him to be, he hasn’t qualified higher than 15th and has failed to score points at every race so far.

How does that compare to his team mate?

Pastor Maldonado has also struggled to get pace out of his Williams he also hasn’t performed well in qualifying and has failed to pick up points, but Maldonado has had to retire from two races so he has got more excuses.

Since both drivers have really struggled to put in good performances in the Williams it appears that it’s more the car’s fault than anything else, but Bottas will need to really up his game if he’s to remain in F1 next season since he’s one of the few drivers not their due to financial backing.

How would you rate his performances so far?

5/10 I expected more of him and so far he’s been rather unimpressive.

Those F1 winter transfers in full.

2 Mar
  • Lewis Hamilton: McLaren > Mercedes
  • Sergio Perez: Sauber > McLaren
  • Nico Hulkenburg: Force India > Sauber
  • Kamui Kobayashi: Sauber > –
  • Michael Schumacher: Mercedes > –
  • Bruno Senna: Williams > –
  • Vitaly Petrov: Caterham > –
  • Timo Glock: Marussia > –
  • Charles Pic: Marussia > Caterham
  • Heikki Kovalainen: Caterham > –
  • Narain Karthikeyan: HRT > –
  • Pedro De La Rosa: HRT > –
  • Max Chilton: – > Marussia
  • Esteban Gutierrez: – > Sauber
  • Valtteri Bottas: – > Williams
  • Luiz Razia: – > Marussia
  • Adrian Sutil: – > Force India
  • Luiz Razia: Marussia > –
  • Jules Bianchi: – > Marussia

New kid on the block: Jules Bianchi

1 Mar

So give us the basics.

Jules is a 23 year old French driver born in Nice and nephew of Lucien Bianchi a Formula 1 driver between the years of 1959 and 1968.

So what categories has he won in so far?

It’s a very impressive list, after starting racing single seaters at the start of 2007 he won the 2007 French Formula Renault 2.0, in 2008 he was 3rd in the Formula 3 Euro Series and 1st in the Masters of Formula 3, in 2009 he won the Formula 3 Euro Series (again), 2010 saw him finish 3rd in GP2 and in 2011 he finished 3rd in GP2 again as well as finishing 2nd in the GP2 Asia Series and in 2012 he was second in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.

Wow, that’s very impressive, has he had much F1 experience?

Despite being only 23 he’s very experienced in the world of Formula 1, he’s been a member of the Ferrari young drivers program for many years and over time has been test driver for Ferrari in 2011 and Force India in 2012 (he got 9 friday practice sessions with Force India), he’s also drove for Ferrari in the young drivers tests in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and for Force India also in 2012, as well as this he’s also done testing for Ferrari as part of his young drivers program.

That is a lot of experience, what’s expected from him?

Lots, he’s clearly talented and he’s well regarded, but he’s going to need to show he can fulfil his potential. I expect Marussia have found themselves a gem of a driver in Bianchi he easily has the potential to blow Chilton out of the water and if the cars are similar wipe the floor with Caterham.

How do you rate his chances?

8/10 Ferrari will be following his closely and if he shows his talent this year then France could have found it’s next world champion.

Marussia call time on Razia

1 Mar

But I thought he’s just been signed by Marussia?

Luiz Razia had just been signed by Marussia, but after sponsors deferred on payments Marussia have axed him before the first race of the season and replaced him with Jules Bianchi.

Now that is harsh!

It is and it will be a real shame for Razia who had worked hard for that race seat only to be let down by his sponsors.

So what’s this Bianchi guy like?

Jules Bianchi is a very talented young French driver who is currently a part of the Ferrari young drivers program and has spent a few seasons competing in GP2 where he’s succeeded and working as Force India’s reserve driver which saw him get get to the drive the car in 9 friday practice sessions.

Could there be any secret motives behind this deal?

I wouldn’t rule it out, Marussia are looking for a new engine supplier for 2014 and Ferrari want to supply a 4th team for 2014, very coincidental then that Bianchi will be heavily linked with both teams.