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.

F1’s Valtteri Bottas to compete in first-ever rally race in his native Finland

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Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.

More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.

Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.

He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.

“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.

“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”

Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”

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