August 3, 1989
Marussia F1 Team
|Career statistics to end 2013|
It was Malaysia that did it, but it took until the last race of 2013 for it to be confirmed.
‘It’ was 10th place for the Marussia F1 Team in the Constructors’ Championship, the last of the financially rewarding positions among the 11 competing teams.
F1 rookie Jules Bianchi secured 13th place in only his second outing for the team at Sepang; since there were no points scored by either Marussia or their immediate rivals Caterham, it all depended on a count-back and in the end Bianchi’s Malaysian placing was the best achieved by any of the two teams’ four drivers.
Bianchi fittingly sealed the position by finishing ahead of both Caterhams in the 19th and last race at Interlagos.
All the more creditable in that Jules was a Johnny-come-lately, managing just a couple of quick days’ testing before rushing out to Australia to get his first F1 campaign under way.
Throughout a tough learning year the Frenchman who is also a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy acquitted himself with aplomb.
While Bianchi finished ‘only’ 19th overall, we should not forget how intensely competitive life is at the rear of the grid, just as it is at the front. New car, new tracks, new environment: Jules handled them all well.
So well that in Korea in early October came the news that team principal John Booth had retained his services for 2014.
Two months later, more good news: readers of the prestigious Autosport magazine had voted Bianchi the Rookie of the Year, an award that delighted him.
“I have enjoyed a fantastic debut season in Formula 1,” he said, “and will take away not only special memories but also many lessons which I know will help myself and the team to improve in the future.”
One to watch…