Jules Bianchi

Bianchi triumphs on Massa’s home turf

Penha ( Santa Catarina State, Brazil) 13 January – Jules Bianchi has won the “Desafio das Estrelas” the international karting event organised by Felipe Massa, featuring a host of top drivers, obviously including Felipe himself and, making his debut here, Fernando Alonso.

At the Beta Carrero World kart track, the FDA driver won the first race and was fourth in the second, amassing 40 points, five more than the runner-up, Brazil’s Felipe Nasr and ten more than another Brazilian, Lucas Di Grassi who was third. “I am very happy with this victory,” said Bianchi. “I had already won last year, but that time there was a slight mistake with the weight of the kart, but this time everything went well. It’s nice to race against some of the best drivers and in front of such a big and enthusiastic crowd. I want to the thank the Massa family for everything and I hope I can come back next year to take part again.”

Jules’s name can be added to a top class roll of honour, featuring such names as Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher.

The two Scuderia Ferrari drivers were out of luck on their 2013 competition debut. Felipe finished eighth overall on 14 points, after finishing tenth and eighth in the two rounds. “This was probably the hardest Desafio ever for me,” said the Ferrari man. “If everything is not perfect, then even a tenth can make a big difference. My engine was not at its best yesterday and I paid for that today. The most important thing is that the event is getting bigger year after year. I was very pleased that Fernando was here with us and I’m sure he had fun!”

The Brazilian was absolutely right about his team-mate having fun, as Fernando himself confirmed, even though he failed to score points, with a twenty first and an eighteenth place to his name, because of accelerator problems which saw him retire from race 1. “It was a very enjoyable weekend and I hope the spectators had has much fun as I did. Will I be back next year? If Felipe asks me, definitely!”

The two Ferrari men are on a busy schedule and, as soon as the karting challenge was over, they were boarding a plane for Italy where, as from tomorrow, they tackle their first official engagement of the 2013 season. The 22nd edition of “Wrooom” gets underway at Madonna di Campiglio, where Scuderia Ferrari meets up with media from all over the world against the amazing backdrop of the Dolomite mountains. Among other events, Felipe and Fernando will once again find themselves at the wheel of karts: “Wrooom” ends with a challenge between the Ferrari drivers and Ducati riders, featuring a few guest starts on the ice lake in the Trentino ski resort.