Jules Bianchi has impressed behind the wheel of the Marussia MR03 once again in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix today after getting into Q2 for the second year in a row at Spa.
The French youngster qualified 16th on the grid for tomorrow’s race, pushing bigger names such as Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado out of the shootout at the first hurdle.
Bianchi also managed to get into Q2 at last year’s race in wet conditions, and it holds a special meaning for him at this circuit given that it was the sight of many victories for his great-uncle, Lucien.
“I’m really happy to make it through to Q2 again, especially as it repeats a good performance here last year,” Bianchi said after the session. “I love this track and it’s also very special to me personally, so it is always a really nice feeling to do well here.
“I was a little surprised that we had such a strong qualifying, simply because the tricky conditions were the same for everyone, yet we have fared better than some of the teams further up the grid, finishing ahead of a Lotus, a Force India and a Sauber.
“I’m really pleased for the team as this is a nice reward for them and I hope we can carry it through to the race now.”
It has been a rather chaotic weekend for Marussia at Spa. On Thursday, the team announced that American driver Alexander Rossi would be replacing Max Chilton for the weekend until the Briton’s contractual issues had been resolved. However, it then performed a u-turn and said that Chilton had been reinstated as of FP2 on Friday. Chilton’s comments have also raised some concerns about the future of the team.
On Saturday at Spa though, Bianchi certainly brought the team some much-needed good news.
You can watch the Belgian Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET tomorrow.