The Year Of The French

The year ends are always prone spreadsheets, we have established a performance of Romain Grosjean, Jean-Eric Vergne, Charles Pic and new small Jules Bianchi.

Romain Grosjean

7th in the championship with 132 points
Best result: 2nd in the United States

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The metamorphosis – He will miss him victory this year. The season is average, one podium on the first eight races. But what about the last eleven? Everything changed in him, his behavior as off-road race, it was much more patient, more effective in 2013. The trigger has occurred, the birth of her son Sacha (July 29, note) has not provoked, Romain Grosjean has repeated enough. This may be an aggravating in addition to its future status of No. 1 factor in the Lotus team, the return of Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari was formalized after Monza.

It is at this point that the native of Geneva could begin a magnificent series of catwalks. In Singapore, he had the means, but its E21 (problem of air pressure) decided otherwise. Korea, Japan and India, following his Asian tour runs (almost) perfectly. We would have removed the” almost” without an untouchable Sebastian Vettel. The German won everything after the summer break, he won a fourth consecutive world title. Romain Grosjean could not do anything, it did not stop trying. At Suzuka, his departure is fantastic, it is at the top and is tough to Red Bull until halfway before bowing. Seventeenth on the grid in India, he managed a phenomenal rise to seize the podium at the expense of his teammate at the end of the race. Second in Austin, he finished the season in Brazil after just three laps but the record in 2013 remains excellent.

Six podiums (three in 2012), a more visible maturity track, it can approach 2014 with certainty. Raikkonen party, he will be joined by Pastor Maldonado . The Venezuelan will also want to show. Eric Boullier, the team boss Enstone today considers Romain Grosjean as” one of the three or four best drivers in the tray”, he will assume his new status and new expectations that result.

Jean-Eric Vergne

15th in the championship with 13 points
Best result: 6th in Canada

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Red Bull escapes him – The Francilien be a third consecutive season with Toro Rosso, powered by a Renault engine in 2014, but it does not match the second seat at Red Bull. Mark Webber left F1, another Australian succeed him. Daniel Ricciardo integrates the best team in the tray for four seasons, JEV remain where it is. The good news is that it remains in Formula 1 but it was of course possible future teammates Sebastian Vettel. Member of the Red Bull die, it will monitor the performance of Ricciardo in 2014. It will also bring good results. This failure will serve him. “Sure, it was disappointing not to join Red Bull. I think it has greatly helped me in my progress,” admitted Vergne after the end of the season.

The difference between him and Ricciardo seems to have been on qualifications. With a modest Toro Rosso, Australian succeeds excellent sessions, integrating Q3 nine times against four appearances for Vergne. Although the gap in the championship between the two is low (seven points, only if you count 2012 and 2013), Red Bull has chosen a driver can hit hard in qualifying and to better protect Sebastian Vettel. This is perhaps a good sign for JEV, eventually. And if they had Ricciardo its provisions on a ride, knowing he was not often confirmed Sunday? It would not be a big threat to Vettel, unlike Vergne, more regular racing when his car knows no mechanical problems, which has often been the case in 2013. Next year, the native of Pontoise will still be more for three seasons with Toro Rosso, nobody has done more.

Jules Bianchi

19th championship with 0 points
Best result: 13th in Malaysia

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The beautiful story – On February 27, Force India preferred him Adrian Sutil to team up with Paul di Resta. The grid was complete. Two days later, on March 1, Luis Razia lost his place at Marussia, abandoned by its sponsors. The grid is then completed by Jules Bianchi, France has four representatives in Formula 1, the most since 1995. The Nice participated in the last winter test days with his new team, its preparation is truncated even though physically he was hoping for a sharp opening at Force India. Two weeks before the first free practice in Melbourne, he knows no team car. He must learn while very little time before driving in Australia.

The lucky loser as the tennis world (in this sport, a lucky loser in qualifying but fails benefits of a plan to integrate the player table) so the call starts the season in the most total blur. He manages to make his mark quickly, taking advantage of his teammate Max Chilton and two pilots Caterham opening of the season, qualifying or racing. A week later, Malaysia, he finished 13th. Nobody will know then but this will allow the Marussia team finished tenth in the constructors’ championship. The French rookie has impressed everyone in 2013, starting with his boss John Booth who had praised at the time of contract extension, enjoying the fact that he had “accepted the challenge without trembling, with an early exceptional season. He has clearly demonstrated its capabilities and potential. ”

It was still a bit green for Ferrari, perhaps, but if Kimi Raikkonen continues to be bothered by his back, one never knows. Member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, rookie season for the readers of Autosport magazine, everything is possible for Jules Bianchi. In the meantime, he must confirm next season with Marussia.

Charles Pic

20th championship with 0 points
Best result: 14th in Malaysia and Korea

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Change unsuccessfully – In Marussia in 2012 for his rookie season, he had stood up to a more experienced Timo Glock. But it was part of the team finishing last in the constructors behind Caterham. In the offseason, he joined the stable property of Tony Fernandes and directed by a French team principal Cyril Abiteboul. It is now the most seasoned pilot two new teammate, Dutchman Van der Garde only happens in F1, almost 28 years. Charles Pic assumes his status, he regularly dominates VdG (12-7 in qualifying), it is more regular in the race with four outs, each time on a mechanical problem. One problem, rare openings qualification is Van der Garde who has materialized.

In Monaco and Belgium in the rain, small teams had their chance. Charles Pic had failed to grasp, unlike his teammate, 14th on the grid in Monte Carlo and 15th in the Ardennes. In the end, Charles Pic is still part of the last stable plateau in 2013, Marussia Caterham ahead with the 13th of his compatriot Jules Bianchi at Sepang in early season. Bianchi extended for 2014, Romain Grosjean and Jean-Eric Vergne as Charles Pic is still awaiting his fate. And candidates for the two seats in Caterham are many, in addition to the two incumbents in 2013. Heikki Kovalainen is often cited, names Esteban Gutierrez and Marcus Ericsson have also been developed. We had four French drivers on the grid in 2013, hope the protected Olivier Panis will retain its place in 2014.