Jules Bianchi has been the center of attention during this week's young driver test at Jerez after Ferrari announced that it signed the young Frenchman to a long-term deal.
After his first two days of testing, the Formula 3 Euro Series champion Jules Bianchi reflected on his graduation to Formula 1 machinery and his new relationship with the Italian team.
Q. Talk us through your program for this test.
Jules Bianchi: The most important thing was for me to learn how to drive a Formula 1 car, because it's really different between an F1 and an F3 car, a GP2 even. I'm just here to learn how to drive it and how to work with the team.
Q. Why were you slower today than on Tuesday?
JB: We had lots of fuel today, looking toward next year, so we were not fast. But it was my job to do that because the team wanted to do it. We did a good job I think, because we did a lot of laps without any mistakes or problems. So we finished the day with 113 laps. That's really good.
Q. How difficult was it to brush off the disappointment of Macau and come here with the right attitude?
JB: Not at all difficult. OK, Macau was a bad result, but you forget about it and think about the future, which was the right thing to do.
Q. When did Ferrari sign you to a long-term contract?
JB: A couple of months ago. I was delighted. It's great news for me. But it's no guarantee that I will make it to Formula 1 [with Ferrari], because it's only a contract, and if I don't do a good season next year [in GP2] then they may not want me.
Q. You've done exactly what Nico Hulkenberg had done at this stage of his career, and a year later he's in F1. Can you be in F1 in 2011 if you repeat his GP2 title win with ART?
JB: I have to win it first. If I do, then why not? But I still have to work, because there are a lot of points on which I have to work. We will see.
Q. Does Ferrari have an option to make you test and reserve driver next year?
JB: I don't know.
Q. What was the most surprising element of the Ferrari?
JB: The power and the carbon brakes. They were very impressive.
Q. How long did it take you to adapt?
JB: After half a day I was a lot more comfortable. The car's really fast, so it's difficult to be very fast with the car. Also the brakes, because you brake really late and hard.
Q. Is three days enough for a young driver to get used to an F1 car over a winter?
JB: For me, no. Nico Hulkenberg, who will do the season next year, it's not enough for him. It would be better to have more days testing to prepare for a season, but it's the same for everybody.
Q. Are you happy with the test?
JB: Yes. I made no mistakes and did what the team asked me to do.
Q. How did your neck hold up?
JB: Not very good. It will be worse tomorrow. I know it's something I'm going to have to train hard on. I know at least what comes with driving an F1 car now.
Q. Are you surprised at the level of attention you've generated with this test?
JB: Very. It's true that a lot of people want to speak to me, and I'm the same person I was a month ago, so it's a bit crazy.
Q. What makes you think you can be a World Champion?
JB: I'm still far away from even racing in F1, so it's not right for me to be thinking about a World Championship at the moment. My only goal is to win GP2 next year, and then I'll think about the future beyond that later.