HOCKENHEIM, July 18, 2014 (F1plus/Graham Keilloh).- One of the drivers currently in the mind of many principals, Jules Bianchi, sat with F1plus for an interesting Q&A ahead of the German GP at Hockenheim.
F1Plus: So what are your thoughts ahead of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim?
Jules Bianchi: What do I think about this race? Well, I don’t really know what will happen but now we change one thing in the car which is FRIC, so we’re running without and we did some testing in Silverstone and it didn’t look too bad so we have to wait and see what will happen compared to the other cars around us, but for sure I think we will see some differences.
F1Plus: Do you think it was a relative strength for Marussia, FRIC compared with cars around you?
JB: I think for us it was a good effect you know? It was powerful. But now we have to see how good we are to react without this and to tune the car in the best way without this system, you know? I think we can do a good job. Looking at Silverstone (test) it was not looking too bad. So yeah again we have to work to it and see tomorrow (Friday practice).
F1Plus: Roughly what difference did it have on the lap time at Silverstone, without it?
JB: Exactly was difficult to say because of the wind, so I don’t know, I cannot tell you a precise lap time.
F1Plus: Did you get any sense in terms of how it is to drive?
JB: I didn’t drive, because it was Max in the car. From what I heard it was just different, slightly different balance, but yeah I could not experience that because we did not do it on the first day, so I don’t know.
F1Plus: Another issue that’s come up this weekend is, you may recall in last year’s German Grand Prix there was an issue with Mark Webber leaving the pits and a wheel coming off, and there have been reports in recent days saying that some of the tough measures that were brought in after that, there might be some swing back to maybe make them more lenient towards drivers. What are your thoughts on how unsafe releases are dealt with now and some of the proposed changes to make it more the team that is punished?
JB: You cannot do anything because you’re trying to do the pit stop as quick as possible and it’s part of everything, it’s a mistake you know and a mistake can happen to everybody and you cannot do anything to change that. I don’t think there is something really to improve. The only thing I think is that a driver should not be penalised for that, because it’s not your fault, you’re just in the car and waiting for the green light so when it’s green you have to go. You cannot manage the other things.
F1Plus: At Silverstone you got to try out a Ferrari, how did that go?
JB: Yeah it was good. Good experience you know, it’s always good to try another car than yours and feel the differences, so it was really nice for me and a pretty positive day. So I’m happy with that.
F1Plus: Were there things you learned in the Ferrari that will help what you’re doing at Marussia?
JB: I expected to feel a difference for sure, because it’s not the same cars and the things I saw were better in the Ferrari were the things we were trying to improve already here, so it’s just confirmed what we were thinking before that.
F1Plus: It doesn’t happen very often these days that drivers race with one team but test with another, what were your thoughts on it, did you feel any sort of conflict?
JB: No, no conflict at all. It’s not the first time I’m doing that, I did that in 2012 also with Force India and Ferrari in Magny Cours. This one was not planned so it was a bit more of a surprise, but there was no conflict at all, and I think it will be different if I was testing for some team who are closer you know? At the moment we are not fighting and racing each other so it’s easy.