Starting today, Jules Bianchi will guide the readers of JA on F1 on a unique journey of discovery of Formula 1, as seen through the eyes of one of the best young driving talents on the world motorsport scene.
Jules has been a driver with the Marussia F1 Team for a year and a half, fulfilling one of his boyhood dreams, to drive at the pinnacle of the sport.
He has another dream to fulfill, one with a red tone to it; to drive for the famous Scuderia Ferrari. Since 2009 Jules has been part of the Ferrari Driver Academy and a few weeks ago he was called in to an official test at Silverstone for the Maranello team.
Jules Bianchi writes: “Realizing your dreams is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to a person and I am happy to have fulfilled the biggest dream, which is to drive in F1. I have been dreaming of it since I was a kid but only when I started racing single seaters did I realize that my hopes could become a reality. If you had told me this would happen, when I was 13 years old, I would not have believed you.
But I’ve done it and I’m half way through my second season in the top category and I want to try to take all of you behind the scenes and show you my life and my journey, to show you what it means to be part of this special world, which seems so remote and unattainable.
Let’s start by saying that to race in Formula 1 is something that gives me a lot of excitement: this is the first word that comes to mind. The second is professionalism: if you want to excel you have to be professional in every little detail and that is true for us drivers as much as for all those who work in the various roles. It ‘s something that I realized immediately; right from the first time I was able to see up close how Ferrari operates. Even at Marussia, although the scale of the operation is certainly different from the Scuderia, the level of professionalism is really high.
Ours is a very tough sport, where if you do not always give 100%, whatever the circumstances, you risk falling behind straight away. This means that you always need the utmost concentration, both when working on the track and when you are free from specific commitments, because you can never back off. This is why ‘ if I have to choose a third word to associate with Formula 1 I would say tiredness: not only physical – to drive these cars is not exactly a breeze and to do this job you have to work a lot on athletic training, even during the race weekend – but, more important, mental tiredness.
I never get bored by the routine; it ‘s true that the Grand Prix weekend is a bit like a theatre show, which you repeat in exactly he same format every time, in nineteen different venues. But I don’t mind this repetition at all.
The two-week summer break comes at just the right time. We’ve been on the go, travelling the world, pretty much since the end of January, when I started driving in the winter tests. But now we can kick back a little and try to recharge the batteries for the second half of the season.
In the last few races I could really see our guys in the pit garages beginning to feel fatigued and I too cannot wait to get a rest. I’m not planning anything special, not even to celebrate my 25th birthday on August 3; a few days at home in Geneva with the family and then a little sunshine with friends at the beach somewhere, but not to some far distant place with more time zone changes – I’ve had plenty of that already and more lies in wait for me from late August to late November.
When I have some free time I like to play sports with my friends. I always try to organize a small competition, either karts or playing squash or football: this is what I will be up to before restarting the engines at Spa, where we’ll race in the Belgian Grand Prix.
Of course I have some time now to think about what has happened in this first part of the season because it is not that you can completely clear Formula 1 out of your head, even on vacation.
I’m happy with how things have gone so far: we have made a big step forward compared to last year and you can begin to see the results. The points finish in Monte Carlo, with ninth place was definitely the best moment and it was important to be able to get into Q2 twice (the second part of qualifying for the top 16 cars) in Silverstone and a few days ago at the Hungaroring: it means that we are approaching the core group even though the distance is still quite wide.
The worst day? That’s an easy one – Sunday in Montreal where I was unable to complete even the first lap, boy what a shame ..
Another beautiful moment was the Silverstone test with Ferrari. Putting on those scarlet overalls with the Prancing Horse on the chest is always an unbelievable feeling, as is climbing into the cockpit. I’ve done it before but the emotion is very powerful, very beautiful.
For me Ferrari is like a second family and to drive full time with that Prancing Horse remains my goal, my ultimate dream.
Will I ever get to realize that dream? I don’t know. But given that I have fulfilled my first goal of driving in F1, why not aspire to fulfilling the even bigger dream?
Until next time..