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Top 10: Jules Bianchi career moments

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Top 10: Jules Bianchi career moments
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Aug 3, 2019, 8:07 PM

Much-missed Formula 1 star Jules Bianchi would have turned 30 on this day, had it not been for his unfortunate accident in treacherous wet conditions at Suzuka. We recount the top 10 moments from his racing career that was cut short far too soon.

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Masters of Formula 3 title

Masters of Formula 3 title
1/10

Photo by: Lucien Harmegnies

Bianchi first caught the attention of the motorsport fraternity in the 2008 Formula 3 Masters race at Zolder.

In a field comprising several familiar names including Nico Hulkenberg, Brendon Hartley, Sam Bird and Daniel Ricciardo, Bianchi produced an outstanding wet-weather drive from second on the grid to claim his first victory in F3 machinery.

Dominant run to Euro F3 crown

Dominant run to Euro F3 crown
2/10

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Bianchi crushed the Euro F3 field in his second year in the category in 2009, winning the title with one round to spare.

More encouragingly, he scored nearly twice as many points as Valtteri Bottas, who drove for the same ART team as him but was in his rookie season.

First F1 test with Ferrari

First F1 test with Ferrari
3/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Shortly after winning the Euro F3 title, Bianchi got the opportunity to test a Ferrari F1 car at Fiorano.

Bianchi was subsequently inducted into the Ferrari Driver Academy, marking the start of a relationship that would have ideally resulted in a grand prix drive with the Prancing Horse in the future.

Maiden GP2 win

Maiden GP2 win
4/10

Photo by: FIA Formula 2

Bianchi was super consistent in his two seasons in the GP2 series, finishing third in the standings on both occasions.

He only scored one victory during the stint, at Silverstone, but it was a memorable one.

After securing pole by four tenths in a wet qualifying session, Bianchi charged to victory in a tricky wet/dry race, despite losing the lead during the pitstop sequence.

Losing the Formula Renault 3.5 title

Losing the Formula Renault 3.5 title
5/10

Photo by: Lucien Harmegnies

The circumstances in which Bianchi lost the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 series title were hardly ideal, but what transpired that particular afternoon in Barcelona was certainly significant for the Frenchman’s career.

Bianchi was hit by title rival Robin Frijns at Turn 4, pitching the Tech 1 driver into the gravel and out of the race.

Frijns was held responsible for the incident and handed a penalty, but that made little difference in the title fight as he went on to secure the title by virtue of the four-point advantage he had coming to the last race.

Force India reserve role

Force India reserve role
6/10

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Bianchi’s role as Force India test and reserve driver in 2012 signified that his F1 debut wasn’t too far away, and hence was a crucial moment in his career.

Bianchi got to complete several practice outings on top of test days with the now-defunct squad, providing him experience of working with a midfield team.

Unfortunately, a race seat with Force India failed to materalise, the team instead opting for Adrian Sutil’s experience over Bianchi’s potential.

Last-gasp Marussia call-up

Last-gasp Marussia call-up
7/10

Photo by: Marussia F1 Team

Bianchi’s chance to make it to the 2013 grid was realised just weeks before the start of the season.

Marussia had already firmed its line-up, with Luiz Razia joining Max Chilton at the team.

However, Razia’s sponsors were unable to fulfill the financial commitments, forcing Marussia to terminate the contract and give Bianchi the opportunity to race in F1 at the last-minute.

Impressive debut

Impressive debut
8/10

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

Exceptional drivers tend to pull off strong results on their grand prix debut, even if they have a seat with one of the backmarkers - think Mark Webber’s stunning fifth place finish in Melbourne with Minardi in 2002.

Bianchi was no different; he outqualified his teammate Max Chilton by seven tenths of a second and went on to finish 15th in the race, ahead of not just Chilton but also the Caterham pairing of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde.

Q2 appearance in tricky Silverstone qualifying

Q2 appearance in tricky Silverstone qualifying
9/10

Photo by: Luca Martini

In another session affected by intermittent rain, Jules Bianchi secured his best qualifying result of his career in 12th.

The Marussia pitwall was particularly responsive to changing weather conditions, but it was Bianchi who delivered the goods on track, beating his teammate by nearly a second.

Historic points finish

Historic points finish
10/10

Photo by: Sutton Images

Without a shred of doubt, Bianchi’s last-to-points drive in Monaco was the absolute highlight of his career.

After being demoted to the last row of the grid, Bianchi rose through the field and made a ballsy move on Kamui Kobayashi at Rascasse to cross the finishing line in eighth place.

That became ninth after a five-second penalty was taken into account, but it was nevertheless enough to secure a historic first points finish for the Frenchman and the Marussia team.

Unknown to Bianchi or Marussia at that time, this result made the difference between the team surviving and folding at the end of the season.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jules Bianchi
Author Rachit Thukral