Jules Bianchi has thanked Ferrari for helping him make the next step in his F1 career. On the face of it, the Frenchman’s switch from Ferrari to the same reserve role at Force India is a backwards move. But the new deal involves driving on the Fridays of grand prix weekends, while in the same role last year Nico Hulkenberg successfully found his way onto the race grid for 2012.
Some reports have suggested Ferrari wanted to clear the reserve role so that it is free for Robert Kubica to step in this year with a view to replacing Felipe Massa in 2012.
While Kubica’s Ferrari link could be true, the famous Italian team is undoubtedly still pushing on 22-year-old Bianchi’s career. Indeed, he has been training in the Canary islands in the past days with Ferrari’s Massa and Fernando Alonso.
And “Jules will still be part of the Ferrari driver academy” in 2012, the team confirmed.
Even Bianchi reinforced the fact the Ferrari connection is still very much alive.
“I’m very happy. I want to say thank you to Ferrari who have been working hard for me,” he told the French-language RMC Sport. “It was very important to find a team and the aim now is to find the way to keep going.”