Jules Bianchi waits for Ferrari chance after impressing on Day Two at Silverstone
Raikkonen's stand-in tops the timesheets on test's final day
By William Esler and Pete Gill at Silverstone
Last Updated: 17/07/14 11:25am
A resigned Jules Bianchi has admitted he has no chance of driving for Ferrari next season despite topping the timesheets as Kimi Raikkonen’s stand-in on the second and final day of testing at Silverstone.
In a session overshadowed by behind-the-scenes politicking about the legality of the FRIC suspension device, Bianchi, along with the new 18-inch tyres trialled by Pirelli, was the main topic of conversation for track matters as he delivered an impressive showing in the Ferrari as a replacement for the convalescing Raikkonen.
The Frenchman led the way at the top of the charts with a lap of 1:35.262 – an especially noteworthy time given that at last week’s British GP Raikkonen’s fastest time during any of the three practice sessions was a 1:36.554 while Alonso’s best was a 1:35.244.
But the Marussia driver admits that he has little prospect of realising his Ferrari dream in 2015.
“At the moment I know that it is not the plan for the next year because they have a plan for their drivers,” he told reporters afterwards. “So I will just focus on what I have to do which is Marussia at the moment and try to get good results. We have shown that when we get the opportunity we can get good results at Marussia too and I think it is really important for me to keep going like this and one day if they want me I will be ready.
“Obviously considering I am part of the Academy I think that is the target one day so I have to show them that I am ready in any case, but at the moment they have two drivers who are doing a good job so I don’t think it is the plan.”
However, it was clear that Bianchi was pleased with his day’s work in which he completed nearly 100 laps with any apparent error.
“I think I have shown the team that I can work well and be quick, but again it was a day of testing and it was not the target to compare me with other drivers,” he added. “The target was just to improve the car and help the team and I think I have done my job with that.
“Obviously it is better to do a good job and do a good lap time,” he noted. “Obviously it is different as they were running in Practice Two, the wind was different and you cannot compare, but it is always good to get a good lap time.”
Bianchi scored Marussia’s first-ever points at May’s Monaco GP and admitted that the difference between the team’s car and the F14 T was instantly apparently
“It feels pretty different. When I went out in the first run I was impressed because it has higher downforce so it is different to what I am used to know. So we just have to keep working with Marussia and maybe one day we can get there.”