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Ricciardo: Leclerc the delayed version of Bianchi

  • Published on 15 Apr 2020 13:20
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Daniel Ricciardo is confident that Jules Bianchi would be enjoying the same success as Charles Leclerc currently is at Ferrari if not for his fatal accident at Japan in 2014,

Bianchi had close ties with Ferrari, with former chairman Luca Di Montezemolo confirming after his death that the team was lining him up for a seat at the team in the future.

However, the Frenchman never regained consciousness after crashing at the Japanese Grand Prix under six years ago, and passed away nine months after the accident.

MOREAbiteboul reveals 2020 season delay making Ricciardo's future 'difficult' | Leclerc recalls special memory after joining Ferrari academy

His godson Leclerc, who was guided by Bianchi throughout his junior years, now competes for the Scuderia team, winning two races with it in 2019, along with eight further podiums and seven pole positions.

Ricciardo says that if Bianchi was still alive, he is sure that he would be enjoying similar success to what Leclerc is currently experiencing.

“It wasn't like Jules was underrated, but we never got to see him in a top car, so maybe people didn't appreciate how good he was going to be," Ricciardo said in an online shared diary post.

"You think of his drive in that Marussia in Monaco in 2014, the team's first points. Monaco is like Macau in that there's no way to fluke a result there. It was absolutely on merit.

“As a junior in karting, Jules was the guy. We met training at Formula Medicine in Viareggio in Italy and everyone, even at that age when we were all 17, everyone treated him like he was an F1 driver already. 

"It's another part of what makes his story so sad, because he would have been in a top team and a race winner by now for sure. In some ways, I feel Charles is doing now what Jules would have been doing.

"It's like Charles is the delayed version of what Jules would have done with the success he's having."

Replies (5)

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  • Decent analysis from future teammate

    • + 0
    • Apr 15 2020 - 21:26
  • I know it's a bit insensitive to say it because of the tragedy with Jules, but I don't think we have any evidence that Jules was a future superstar. He certainly doesn't have the credentials that other young stars have like Leclerc, who dominated GP2 in his rookie year. Jules spent 2.5 years in GP2 in a good car and lost to Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. His best result was 3rd in the championship.

    Don't get me wrong, Jules was definitely F1 material. I just don't think that he was anywhere near Leclerc's level

    • + 0
    • Apr 15 2020 - 22:35
    • On paper it did look like that. Vettel lost to PaulDiResta, Maldonado in junior racing. Hulkenberg won everything under kitchen sink in junior racing. Jr. Palmer was a GP2 champ. Maldonado had some great championships. My point is, we can never be sure of a racer’s true performance unless its Lewis, Leclerc kind of domination.

      • + 0
      • Apr 16 2020 - 05:35
    • @mcbhargav sure, but I don't only mean GP2. Seb was impressive from the beginning. Like winning 18/20 races in the Formula BMW. The Hulkenberg example is notable one because he was incredible in junior categories. But Nico was also impressive in his first year in F1. He was also a solid F1 driver. Not quite super star but close.

      What exactly did Jules do to impress you other than the Monaco race, which came 18 months after starting in F1? Maybe there's something I'm missing

      • + 0
      • Apr 16 2020 - 16:18
    • I still think Hulk could've been podium material, he was just in the wrong cars at the wrong times. I'd however like to add Stroll to the list of pre-F1 golden boys what didn't turn out particularly golden in F1. I do think Bianchi was at least F1 material, potentially podium material, but worst thing is that we'll never see.

      • + 0
      • Apr 16 2020 - 17:03

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