Jules Bianchi: a racer happy to let his driv­ing do the talk­ing

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

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-prole 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.

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