In photos: Remembering Jules Bianchi
17 July 2016 – On the first anniversary of Jules Bianchi's passing, GPUpdate.net looks back on some of the Frenchman's greatest moments across his motor racing career, from Formula 3 through to Formula 1.
2008: Maiden Formula 3 victory
Bianchi graduated to single-seaters in 2007 following an impressive spell in karting and in 2008 stepped up to the Formula 3 Euro Series, under the guidance of long-term manager Nicholas Todt and the ART Grand Prix outfit. Bianchi's team-mate, Nico Hülkenberg, went on to claim the crown as Bianchi collected his maiden victory at his home race at Le Mans, finishing the year as the leading rookie, third in the championship standings.
2009: Formula 3 title glory
Bianchi remained with ART Grand Prix into 2009 and dominated the championship, taking six pole positions and nine victories from the 20 races to finish comfortably clear of the pack. His team-mates at ART included Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutiérrez, with the trio all going on to make their Formula 1 debuts in 2013.
December 2009: First Formula 1 test
Bianchi's performances in Formula 3 gained him widespread attention and he caught the eye of Ferrari. He made his Formula 1 test debut in the F60 at the young drivers' test in Jerez, piloting the car across both days of action. Bianchi soon inked a deal with Ferrari and was backed by the operation for the remainder of his career in the sport, taking part in multiple Formula 1 test sessions with the squad as it nurtured his talents.
2011: Maiden GP2 victory
Bianchi moved up to GP2 in 2010 with ART and finished third overall as a win eluded him, but sticking with the rebranded Lotus ART outfit for 2011 finally netted him a victory in tricky conditions at Silverstone, as he prevailed over Christian Vietoris in one of the championship's greatest battles. Bianchi finished third in the standings and for 2012 moved across to Formula Renault 3.5, where he placed second to Robin Frijns.
2012: Force India test runs
Bianchi took a step closer to Formula 1 in 2012 when he became Force India's test and reserve driver, acting as understudy to Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta. Alongside his racing duties in Formula Renault 3.5, Bianchi participated in nine free practice sessions in the VJM05 as he staked his claim to a 2013 full-time seat.
2013: Racing with Marussia
Bianchi was in contention for a race seat with Force India but the team ultimately reunited with Adrian Sutil, leaving the young Frenchman on the sidelines. However, Bianchi was handed an olive branch at Marussia when Luiz Razia's funding fell through and he made a late switch to the outfit, alongside Max Chilton. Bianchi finished 15th on his debut in Australia and turned heads with a series of encouraging performances, taking the 13th place in Malaysia which ultimately bagged 10th position in the Constructors' Championship for Marussia.
2014: Points in Monaco
Bianchi remained with Marussia into a 2014 and, after a dip at the start of the year, he came of age around the streets of Monaco with a feisty performance, carving his way through the field to finish in eighth place, which became ninth once a penalty was applied. It was the first time in Marussia's history that it had finished in the top 10 of a race and meant the squad finished the year in ninth overall, ahead of Sauber and Caterham.
2014: Ferrari test at Silverstone
Bianchi's links with Ferrari remained as strong as ever and mid-2014 he participated in the in-season test session following the British Grand Prix, piloting the F14-T. Bianchi looked at ease in the car and was linked to a Ferrari seat for 2016, but remained humble, insisting that his focus was on driving Marussia forwards.
2016: Legacy at Manor
Bianchi's untimely death was devastating for Marussia and the situation was exacerbated when the team dropped off the grid. However, John Booth and Graeme Lowdon remained committed and revived the outfit at the start of 2015, returning to action in Malaysia, and subsequently secured its future. Bianchi's points in Monaco provided Marussia with the funding it needed to make a comeback and move up the grid in 2016, under new team bosses, with Pascal Wehrlein taking a point for the rebranded Manor operation in Austria.
2016: Legacy at Ferrari
Bianchi had acted as a mentor to a young Monegasque racer by the name of Charles Leclerc. He identified Leclerc as a rising star in karting and the teenager was signed to Todt's management scheme, racing in Formula 3 in 2015 and graduating to GP3 this year, where he has led the charge for ART Grand Prix. Leclerc has also joined Ferrari's young driver academy and made his Formula 1 test debut for Haas at Silverstone before receiving running in Ferrari's SF16-H. "He was my godfather and helped me with most things in racing," explained Leclerc. "He always helped me and I miss his help. I think he advised me really well in the past. All his comments he did in the past, I keep them in mind and try to not do the errors he told me not to do."