At Felipe Massa’s annual charity karting event two days ago, one young Frenchman set the track alight with his gutsy passing and steely commitment to take overall top honors at the end of the event.
Indeed, as legends such as Fernando Alonso and the host, Felipe Massa, struggled to get performance from their karts, it was this certain young Frenchman, Jules Bianchi, who dominated and showed all those watching that he meant business.
The more eagle-eyed viewer may also have noticed Jules’s kart livery. It was Force India galore in a filed of solid blues, reds and yellows. Maybe the fact that his kart livery was based on Force India’s means nothing. Perhaps it was just so we would know who the driver was in case we couldn’t read the name on the chassis. Or, perhaps, there was a message being conveyed to the world.
I don’t want to make a big deal out of this, but the fact that Jules’s livery was based on his team’s livery and Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso’s liveries weren’t was surprising. There is no reason for the latter two to not race in Ferrari red.
Jules’s performances in both is kart races and qualifying as well merit a certain amount of respect. He took on some of the world’s best drivers in a straight fight in the type of vehicles that everyone of them started their careers in.
There wasn’t a whole lot of detailed coverage of the races, and the fact that all the commentary was on Portuguese made discerning everyone’s attitude towards the new winner nigh on impossible, but history will show that the Frenchman is a very level-headed young man.
What Force India needs for 2013 is a driver who will give them strings of consistently solid performances with flashes of the unexpected podium or two, coupled with mental dexterity and emotional control. What Paul Di Resta lacked at times last year will either need to be remedied for 2013 or replicated in 2013 by another driver. Losing Nico Hulkenberg to Sauber was a loss for the team, but the future is still bright for the small Silverstone based outfit.
If Jules’s performances last weekend were any barometer of what we could expect from him in an F1 car, Force India would be smart to sign him up for a race seat right now. Frankly, their reluctance to sign anyone is becoming frustrating for not only the drivers involved in the decision, but for their fans waiting (soon to not be) patiently.