Marussia have confirmed that Jules Bianchi will remain with the team for the 2014 Formula One season following a highly impressive debut year for the Anglo-Russian team.
Bianchi, who is a member of Ferrari’s driver academy, was drafted into the backmarkers’ line-up at the last second in pre-season after planned driver Luiz Razia’s funding fell through. In his opening few races, Bianchi was highly impressive, soundly beating closest-rivals Caterham and recording a thirteenth-place finish in Malaysia that has kept Marussia tenth in the constructors’ championship. With Ferrari supplying the team with engines in 2014, it was expected that Bianchi would be retained, but the Frenchman is delighted for the new to now be official.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling for me,” Bianchi explained. “It was a really late call this year and I’ve already signed for next year so it’s amazing for me. I’m really happy to stay with Marussia because I feel really confident with them, I feel like at home. So I hope it will be a great season next year and I really want to thank them for that.”
Bianchi has led Marussia’s charge on all fronts this season, with the Singapore Grand Prix being the first race in 2013 that he had finished behind teammate Max Chilton. It is yet to be confirmed whether or not the Brit will remain at Marussia next year.
For Bianchi though, he can renew battle with Caterham duo Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde in the final six races of 2013 without worrying about his seat for 2014, and then turn attention to the raft of regulation changes set to take place for his second year in Formula One.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.