By Phillip Horton on Saturday, March 9, 2013
Marussia rookie Jules Bianchi says he feels comfortable ahead of his F1 debut next weekend.
Bianchi steps up to a race seat having spent 2012 with Force India as their reserve driver. The Frenchman replaced initial Marussia signing Luiz Razia and drove the MR02 at the final pre-season test in Barcelona.
“So much has happened over the past couple of weeks that it’s difficult to get my head around the fact that I am about to begin my Formula 1 racing career in Melbourne next weekend,” he said.
“I guess excitement is the only emotion I’ve had time to experience, there has been so much to do and so many people to meet. Things happen for a reason and I feel confident that we are going to have a very positive season together”.
“There is a nice and positive vibe about the Team and good signs from the work that has been done with the MR02. In the short period of time that I was driving the car in Barcelona last week, I felt very comfortable based on my previous experiences with other F1 cars I have driven, so I’m excited to see what we can achieve in the first few races.”
Team-mate Max Chilton also feels prepared ahead of his debut.
“The past few weeks of pre-season testing have flown by, but I’ve spent a lot of time in the car working on so many different things that I feel totally prepared for what lies ahead now,” said the Brit.
“We gathered a lot of information with the MR02 in Jerez and Barcelona and at every stage it has been possible to see the benefit of all that learning and development. I hope to continue that in the opening races. I think we have a good car for Melbourne but it is vital that we keep pushing forward.”
Team principal John Booth admits that he doesn’t view his young chargers as rookies.
“Whilst they are both ‘F1’ rookies, their combined depth of experience rising through the ranks in the junior formulae and in F1-supported young driver programmes leaves them well-placed for their debut season,” he said.