Bianchi suffers first F1 crash of 2012
9 February 2012 – Jules Bianchi has established the unenviable statistic of being the first man to crash a Formula 1 car in 2012. The Frenchman, a Ferrari protégé but Force India’s reserve driver for this year, went off-track in Jerez on Thursday morning.
Having made the brave and possibly risky decision to fit the car with Pirelli’s Medium compound tyres in near-freezing weather conditions, Bianchi left the pit lane but was spotted off-track at Pons corner just moments later. At present, it is unknown whether the car made contact with the tyre barriers, although the driver climbed out unaided.
Also on Thursday, it has been confirmed that Bianchi has signed up with Tech 1 Racing to contest this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship. Like Daniel Ricciardo in 2010, this will work better than GP2 as the latter hosts its races on F1 weekends, meaning it would clash with Bianchi’s Force India commitments as Friday free practice driver.
“I am very happy to be driving for Tech 1,” he says. “This year is very important for my career and, as a young driver, it's crucial to have the opportunity to race in such a competitive environment. I will do my best to help the team to achieve its goals this season. I also would like to thank Ferrari and Force India for allowing me to do so.”
Bianchi’s last motorsport title to date came in 2009, winning the Formula 3 Euro Series in dominant fashion.
Bianchi's accident ends Force India’s day