F3 Euroseries championship winner Jules Bianchi admits it is a dream come true to have been offered the chance to test for Ferrari during the F1 young driver session at Jerez next month.
The Frenchman, who won the Euroseries crown with ART Grand Prix and will step up to GP2 next season, has been linked with the Scuderia
for some time and was one of the names mentioned when the team was looking for a replacement for Felipe Massa earlier this year after his accident in Hungary.
Bianchi will spend two days at the wheel of the F60 during the Spanish test before the car is handed over the Italian F3 trio Daniel Zampieri, Marco Zioli and Pablo Sanchez Lopez for the final day and he admitted it was hard to believe that the test was going to take place.
“I can't find the right words,” he said ahead of a test which will make him the first French driver since Jean Alesi to run in a Ferrari car. “I think I will believe it when I sit in the cockpit of the Ferrari.
“Ferrari, it's the team I dreamt of when I was a kid. I will keep cool and I know it is just another step and that the road to success is very long if we want to fulfil the goals we have set ourselves together with my manager, Nicolas Todt. In 2010, once the regular season has started, my priority will be GP2 with ART Grand Prix.”
Alesi, now the captain of the French Federation of Motorsport's French team, said he was delighted to see Bianchi get the chance to show what he can do in F1 machinery.
“Until now I was the last French driver to drive a Ferrari Formula One car and I'm delighted to pass the baton to Jules' hand,” he said. “It's a nice story between the Captain of the Equipe de France FFSA and one of its top members.
“It's certainly an honour for Jules, but you have to underline it is also a deserved reward for all his first-class performances and work. I know Jules really well and I know he will remain calm and collected, but at the same time I'm sure he will have goose bumps when he climbs into the red car!
“A lot of drivers dream of, or are still dreaming of driving for the Pranced Horse, but while many are called, only a few are chosen and he owes this reward to his work as well as to a true manager who is alongside him at every milestone in his career. We must not underestimate this test but we must also know how to put it into perspective: we know the difficulties that the F60 had to cope with and especially through the ones two very experienced drivers such as Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella had this year.
“Other drivers will run at the same time as Jules, some of them with a world champion car and others who have already had an F1 experience. We will therefore have to compare Jules with the three others drivers who will drive the same car as him, the Ferrari.”