Jules Bianchi ready for a race seat as he prepares for Friday audition in Austin

Youngster to drive for Force India in Practice One at the U.S. GP

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 13/03/13 2:29pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

2013 hopeful Jules Bianchi has insisted he is ready for a race seat next season as he prepares for another outing for Force India in Practice One at this week's U.S. GP.

Although the Silverstone-based outfit remain in no rush to confirm the identity of Nico Hulkenberg's replacement for next season, a clue to their 2013 thinking has possibly been dropped with the news that Bianchi will once again drive for the team in Friday morning's practice session.

The Frenchman has regularly impressed this term, most notably during September's Young Driver Test at Magny-Cours when he drove for both Force India and Ferrari and topped the timesheets on all three days of the event.

"I've learned a lot from this role and from driving in P1," Bianchi, a graduate of Ferrari's driver academy, told their website. "Even if I'd driven before at the previous year's Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi and also at Jerez, it's not the same as driving during a race weekend, because you are under a lot more pressure.

"I feel I have grown up a lot with this experience and I am now ready to be a race driver in Formula 1. I hope I find an official seat for next year as this is definitely my dream. I feel I had a good season in World Series and did a good job with Force India as well, so I feel ready and think I deserve a seat in F1."

Watch the U.S. GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1

Can Fernando Alonso stop Sebastian Vettel winning a third consecutive title this weekend? Watch the U.S. GP exclusively live only on Sky Sports F1 to find out.

Sky TV customers, upgrade to Sky Sports today to get £5 off your first bill. Find out more at sky.com

Having already formed a close association with the team, and a vacancy alongside Paul di Resta yet to be filled, Force India represent the likeliest opportunity for a promotion onto the 2013 grid. However, the French youngster is making no secret of his ultimate ambition: "My dream is to race for Ferrari one day!"

Ahead of his latest audition for a race seat, Bianchi has familiarised himself with the Circuit of Americas in Ferrari's simulator. Interestingly, not only has the 23-year-old given the circuit a resounding endorsement as a race venue but he also believes it will suit the F2012 of Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard seeks to prevent Sebastian Vettel wrapping up a third successive title.

"The Austin track layout looks really interesting with many quick corners. The first part is similar to the first sector in Japan and then the Becketts complex at Silverstone. I think it will be very interesting in terms of driving, while there are also many slow corners. Overall, judging from the simulator, I'd say it's one of the best tracks," he confirmed.

"Everyone in Maranello has been working very hard to improve the performance of the F2012 for this race and, in my opinion, it should be competitive at the Circuit of the Americas. It is always difficult to overtake in Formula 1, but in Austin, you have two heavy braking points with a long straight in between, so there should be plenty of overtaking opportunities this weekend."

  • Share:


United States GP 2012

Lewis Hamilton: Aiming to leave McLaren with a win

Hamilton: I'll give it my all

Lewis Hamilton says he will give it his all and leave McLaren in style with a win at this weekend's Brazilian GP.

Massa admits Ferrari frustration

Massa admits Ferrari frustration

Felipe Massa admitted he was frustrated with Ferrari's decision to drop him five places down the grid.

Lewis Hamilton: Believes he is one of the best drivers in F1

Hamilton: I am one of the best

Lewis Hamilton says victory at the U.S. GP proved he is one of the top drivers in F1 after he "beat the supposed best."

Most Popular


Team-by-team review

Team-by-team review

Analysing who looks on form, and who appears to be struggling, after the second test of pre-season.

Barca talking points

Barca talking points

Why Mercedes were fooling no one in the first week at Barcelona and Ferrari look to have staying power.

'Merc still ahead'

'Merc still ahead'

Sebastian Vettel suspects Mercedes are still ahead despite Ferrari's very fast start to winter testing.