Ferrari has confirmed that it is pushing to find reserve driver Jules Bianchi a more permanent role in the top flight.
Having added Pedro de la Rosa to its testing strength, the Scuderia can afford to back the Frenchman's bid to land a race seat, following a year in which it loaned him to Force India to act as its test and reserve behind Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg. Bianchi subsequently topped the times for botgh teams over two days of testing at the end of the season, but has yet to be confirmed for either of the remaining openings on the 2013 grid.
“Regarding [Bianchi], who is also part of the Ferrari Development Academy, we are currently trying to find him a role in F1 and, when we have some news, we will let you know,” team principal Stefano Domenicali told the media on the opening day of the Scuderia's Wroom
Bianchi's chances of partnering di Resta at Force India this season appear to rest on the team deciding whether or not to rehire Adrian Sutil, who was the Scot's team-mate during his rookie year in 2011. The German was dropped in favour of Hulkenberg following his well-publicised nightclub altercation with Genii's Eric Lux, but is free to resume his career in 2013 – and, perhaps more importantly, is thought to be able to bring greater financial backing to the team.
"I am waiting," Bianchi told RMC Sport
at the weekend, "It has been quite a hard winter this time because I haven't known what I am doing. We have a chance, and it's a good one, but we'll wait and see what Force India will decide."
Bianchi finished as runner-up to Robin Frijns in the 2012 World Series by Renault.