Jules Bianchi knows the Circuit de Monaco very well and always dreamed of taking to the streets in a Formula One car. He has raced around the twisty Monaco streets in junior formulae but he is now looking ahead to his Monaco Grand Prix debut, something he describes as a “dream come true.”
The Frenchman grew up just down the road from the principality in Nice and shared his excitement at returning to the track, but this time as a Formula One driver. He said in a team statement from the team “When I was nine or ten years old and used to go to watch the Monaco Grand Prix, I could never have imagined that one day I would be racing here myself. So much of this season is a dream come true but next weekend is certainly one of the highlights for me.”
Describing the atmosphere and challenges that the weekend produces, he added “It’s a unique race, a fantastic experience on and off the track and the atmosphere is very special.”
Marussia brought a number of upgrades to Spain and Bianchi feels that the team has made steps in the right direction. The rookie is expecting the car to run well around the tricky 2.075 mile circuit. “I would like to think that we can have a strong weekend after some positive signs with the new upgrade in Spain. We were not able to make the best of it on race day there but I hope for better things in Monaco.”
Team-mate Max Chilton finished second in last years GP2 sprint race at the Monaco track and knows what is needed to succeed. “It’s a fascinating track and everything can turn on a knife-edge because of factors like the close proximity of the barriers and the importance of qualifying ahead of our immediate competitors.”
Despite the circuit being very different to the Circuit de Catalunya, Chilton is hopeful of making further improvements in Monaco and carrying forward the positive showing from Spain. Although this is a very different challenge to Spain, I hope we can carry through some of the benefits we saw from the new developments last time out and have a better showing in Monaco.” He has also been busy on the run up to the race, preparing in the simulator. “I have been preparing in the simulator this week and I’m feeling positive about our potential there.”
Marussia showed strong pace early in the season but dropped behind rivals Caterham in Bahrain. However 13th place for Bianchi in Malaysia has been enough to hold on to the coveted 10th place in the constructors so far.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic