Jules Bianchi will remain with the Marussia F1 Team for the 2014 F1 season, it has been announced ahead of this weekend's Korean Grand Prix. The length of the deal was not confirmed.
The Frenchman joined the Banbury-based outfit in February this year, drafted in at late notice as a replacement for Brazilian racer Luiz Razia.
Despite minimal preparation time for his debut season however, the 23-year-old settled into the team well and quickly got to grips with the MR02. He has since played an important part in helping Marussia achieve its current tenth position in the Constructors' Championship - his highest placing so far 13th at the Malaysian Grand Prix
back in March.
“I am very happy to be able to confirm that I will stay with the Marussia F1 Team in 2014,” he said. “I couldn't have wished for a more supportive environment in which to make my F1 debut and from the very beginning I have always felt completely at home with the team.
“We started the season very well and while the challenge has increased as the season has developed, we have learned important lessons together that will place us in a much stronger position next year when there are a lot of changes for the sport and the team to get used to.
“I am very excited to be part of the team as we all enter this new era of F1 and I look forward to achieving some rewarding performances together.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Ferrari
Driver Academy for their continued support for my career.
“Looking ahead to the remainder of the season, we at the Marussia F1 Team have a lot of hard work to do in the next six races to deliver tenth place in the Constructors' Championship and I will be very focused on what I can do to play my part in bringing that result about.”
Marussia team principal, John Booth added: “It gives us great pleasure to announce that we will go forward into 2014 with Jules as one of our race drivers. Jules joined us at very short notice at the end of pre-season testing, with only two days of running under his belt. He rose to the challenge of his debut season exceptionally well and since that time has clearly demonstrated his ability and potential.
“2014 heralds a new era for the sport and continuity and consistency of line-up will be important in helping us to navigate the transition. We look forward to confirming our full race driver line-up later in the season.
“Until then we have an important job to do to ensure we retain our tenth place in the Constructors' Championship and this is where our full focus will lie in the intervening period.”