After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.
We’re at the back of the grid now, but it can be argued that the best of this lot in 2013 was Jules Bianchi…
No. 22 Marussia-Cosworth
2013 Stats: 0 Wins, 0 Podiums, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10s, 0 Laps Led (Best Finish: 13th, Malaysia)
Average Start: 19.6
Average Finish: 17.6
DiZinno says: Jules Bianchi was drafted into Marussia late and set the bar pretty high with his first two or three races. In fact his 13th place at Malaysia, the second race of the year, was the ultimate in providing the team 10th place in the Constructor’s Championship. Unfortunately the Frenchman was in a bit of a no-win situation from there. So long as he beat his lesser rated teammate Max Chilton, it’s because it was expected, and the car dropped off to where beating the Caterhams on a regular basis wasn’t easy. But he did nearly everything he could have given the circumstances.
Estrada says: When Luiz Razia’s funding didn’t come through in pre-season, Marussia didn’t take long to find his replacement as Bianchi had just lost out on a Force India drive to Adrian Sutil. Lacking experience with the MR02 but given an opportunity, the Frenchman produced a solid season that put teammate Max Chilton in the shade and, more importantly, enabled the team to take away 10th place from rival Caterham. In October, he was hired for a second year at Marussia, and with a flip to Ferrari power coming in 2014, Bianchi’s continued progress will bear watching.