|Born||August 3, 1989||Nationality||French|
|Career statistics to end 2012|
|Pole Position(s)||-||Fastest Lap(s)||-|
F1 fans of more mature years may feel the name ‘Bianchi’ has a familiar ring, and they would be right. Lucien Bianchi took part in 17 Grands Prix between 1960 and 1968, finishing third in Monaco in a Cooper BRM in 1968. He was also an outstanding sports car racer, winning Le Mans in 1968 in a Ford GT40 with Pedro Rodriguez. Lucien, who was killed at Le Mans a year later, was Jules Bianchi’s great-uncle.
Jules’ own single-seater career started in 2007 in Formula Renault 2.0, where he was French champion. For the next two years he was in the F3 Euroseries with ART: in 2008 he came third overall, also winning the prestigious F3 Masters race; in 2009 he took nine race wins on his way to the Euroseries title.
Next came GP2, still with ART: Bianchi finished third in both 2010 and 2011, when he won at Silverstone, then switched to Formula Renault 3.5 in 2012.
He almost won the title: he took race wins at the Nürburgring, Silverstone and Paul Ricard and only a last-race stoush with eventual champion Robin Frijns stopped him, Bianchi finishing runner-up by just four points.
He is a member of Ferrari’s driving academy and last year played a reserve driver role for Force India, for whom he almost got the nod as a race driver in 2013 before losing out to the returning Adrian Sutil.