Maranello, 13 July –When one of your students completes his course, it’s always cause for great satisfaction, even in a rather special school such as the Ferrari Driver Academy. Jules Bianchi was the first driver to be taken onto this programme created by Ferrari and today, he has reached one of the targets which had been established at the start of his journey, that of racing in Formula 1.
“It was very important for Jules to have finally reached the highest level of motor sport,” explained Luca Baldisserri, the head of the FDA, talking to www.ferrari.com. “This is a key year for him: he has to gain experience and grow as a driver in what is a very competitive environment, learning to manage stress and always stay focused. We try to help him, especially on the mental level, supporting him as much as possible, because clearly we cannot get involved in the operational side of his relationship with Marussia.”
Luca is pleased with what Jules has achieved over these first six months, but as always he proves to be what one might call a stimulating teacher. “At the start, he was very psyched up and you could see how the delight at having managed to get into Formula 1 was giving him an additional boost. I can see he is growing, also in terms of his relationship with the team, learning to discuss things with the engineers, trying to understand what direction to go in to develop the car and trying to make a contribution. It’s very important that he should always be able to set himself targets, so he doesn’t slacken his effort and make stupid mistakes, which could come from a lack of concentration. In this phase of his career, it’s vital he proves able to grab any opportunities that can arise over a race weekend, maybe when circumstances can mix things up, such as rain or a safety car period: these are the times when a driver can make the difference.”
Even if Jules himself has underlined how important has been the support of the FDA, Baldisserri does not want to overestimate its value. “It’s true Jules has been with us since the start, but one has to admit that back then, we were not as structured as we are now and that he already had a reasonable level of training. The real effects of our programme are being seen and will be seen, at least I hope so, with the drivers who joined the FDA at the start of their journey, such as Raffaele Marciello and Antonio Fuoco.”