Jules Bianchi: a racer happy to let his driving do the talking
The popular and professional driver, who scored Marussia’s first points, was long overdue a place at the sport’s top table
Some drivers sweep through the F1 paddock as if they own the place; others, especially those at the nancially challenged end of the grid, well aware of how fragile their careers are, hug the sidelines as they establish a foothold. For all the movie-star looks and effortlessly cool persona, Jules Bianchi falls into that latter category.
His two seasons of hard graft at Marussia have been a lesson in patience and application. Some drivers blessed with Ferrari backing and a management deal with Nicolas Todt would trumpet their sense of entitlement from the rooftops; but Jules has quietly chiselled away at his craft, with Todt usually a low-prole presence. This, you sense, is all part of the plan.
Jules doesn’t thrive on media attention. He’s shyly self-deprecating about his command of English, but the longer you spend in his company the more you realise that he can communicate more meaning with a throwaway piece of understatement, accompanied by a mischievous twinkle in his eye and a wry twitch of an eyebrow, than a more verbose driver would convey in a paragraph. At race weekends, Jules, who admits he doesn’t particularly relish interviews, is happy to remain below the radar and let his driving do the talking. For him, racing with Marussia has been an opportunity to reinvent himself after his career came unstuck in the senior echelons of the feeder formulae.