Euro F3 sensation Jules Bianchi is the latest name to be linked to Luca Badoer’s seat at Ferrari. The Frenchman is managed by Nicolas Todt, son of former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt, and is apparently the nearest Ferrari have to a young protege.
Bianchi, who is 20, has dominated the F3 scene to the extent that he is likely to take the title by the next round in Spain. Sebastian Vettel was the last big name to star from that series, and adapted to F1 like a duck to water. According to La Gazetta dello Sport, the Italian newspaper with close links to Ferrari, the Italian marque reckon Bianchi is of the same pedigree.
It is perhaps strange that Ferrari should be considering putting a novice into the seat, but the reality is that they have little other option. Badoer will have to up his game considerably at this weekend’s Belgian GP to retain the drive, something of which many observers doubt he is capable. A dearth of talent has left Ferrari scouring the lower formulae for a replacement for Felipe Massa who is up to the game.
Earlier today it was reported that Williams tester Nico Hulkenberg and STR refugee Sebastien Bourdais have been linked with the seat. Hulkenberg has posted some decent times, but is an outside chance. It would be even more surprising if Bourdais or even Nelson Piquet was considered for the drive, as both failed to live up to expectations in lesser teams.
Second Ferrari tester Marc Gene has been overlooked, with some journalists commenting that he is not fast enough. But he acquitted himself reasonably in his time in the sport, knows the team and recently won Le Mans, so looks the best bet from an outside perspective.