Ferrari reserve driver Jules Bianchi has given strong hints that he could be a more regular presence in the Formula 1 paddock during the course of the 2012 season, as he ramps up his push for a full-time race seat for 2013.
The 22-year-old Frenchman, managed by Felipe Massa’s manager Nicolas Todt, has recently been linked with the now-vacant reserve driver seat at Force India, which was used to great effect by Nico Hülkenberg during the 2011 season.
Regular and promising Friday practice outings (not to mention a few contractual clauses, we think) for the Silverstone-based squad helped the German bounce back to a full-time race seat with the team after he was sacked by Williams at the end of his debut season in 2010.
In an interview with French radio station CRM, Bianchi indicated that he’d like to follow Hülkenberg’s route.
“I will try to play an important role in formula one (this year) in order to gather as much information and experience as I can and get a cockpit in 2013,” he is quoted as saying.
Bianchi has raced in F1’s feeder category, the GP2 Series, for the last two seasons with Todt’s ART outfit, but his form has been patchy. In both years, he’s finished a distant third in the championship – this year he claimed his maiden win at Silverstone’s ‘feature’ race.