Bianchi focusing on Malaysia despite debut success

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Jules Bianchi was one of the stars of the Australian Grand Prix last weekend, and the French driver has revealed he is enjoying the success following his highly impressive debut.

“It has been nice to take a couple of days in Australia to really absorb the experience of my first Formula 1 race last weekend.

“There were quite a lot of new things to be faced with, including driving a race of that distance for the first time and bringing together everything that I had learned in the days before.”

Bianchi finished an impressive fifteenth for Marussia, one lap ahead of Caterham’s Charles Pic, and his fastest lap was just 0.045 seconds slower than that of defending world champion Sebastian Vettel. Despite the success, Bianchi is keeping his feet on the ground as he looks to build upon the result in Malaysia.

“Although my debut went well, there are some areas that I need to work on and where I can improve – as you would expect – so this race we will have a little more time and experience to think about what we need to do to keep pushing forward. I’ve done some work in the simulator and I think Sepang is a circuit I’m going to enjoy.”

Ferrari Driver Academy member Bianchi also spoke about the challenging weather conditions he is expecting for the race.

“I know the challenge it brings in terms of the heat and humidity, so I’m prepared for that.”

Rain is forecast for the race on Sunday, but should Bianchi manage to tame the wet conditions he could find himself bettering his Australian GP result, and perhaps even target Marussia’s first F1 points.

Verstappen picks illegal Raikkonen pass as favorite F1 2017 overtake

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Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.

Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.

When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.

The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.

“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.

“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.

“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.

“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”

Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.

“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”