GP2, F2 Birthdays: 3/8/2011

The two racing drivers who celebrate their birthdays today are the same age. Jules Bianchi and Tobias Hegewald are both 22 today.

French GP2 driver Jules Bianchi is the grand-nephew of Belgian F1 driver Lucien Bianchi, who was born Luciano in Milan. Lucien’s best finish was third in Monaco in 1968 driving for Cooper. He shared the podium with Graham Hill and Richard Attwood in a race where only 5 drivers finished of 16, and the last retirement was on lap 16 – a long way before the end.
Anyway back to Jules, who began driving in French Formula Renault in 2007. He won the series with 5 wins, 5 poles and 10 fastest laps. In 2008 he came third in F3 Euroseries despite only 2 wins. The winner that year was Nico Hulkenberg.
In 2009, he won the F3 Euroseries title taking 9 wins, and moved into GP2 for the next season. Immediately he prospered, coming third overall. He seems to have a great ability to adapt to new cars quickly. In the four-race GP2 Asia series this year he finished second.
Though Jules was tipped to take the GP2 title this season, he has has a lot of bad luck. After a good start, he had a lot of non-points finishes which dropped him down the table. But a recent resurgence has pushed him back up to fourth and he is likely to finish in the top three or four.
Jules is a Ferrari test driver, and one that the Scuderia have their eye on for the future. But as long as Sauber are watching Esteban Gutierrez and have Kobayashi and Perez as their main drivers, Ferrari are going to struggle to get him into F1.

Tobias Hegewald began racing in 2005, taking part in German Formula BMW. He finished 20th in his first season. The next year he finished 13th. He also took place in some FBMW USA races.
In 2007, he began driving in FR2.0 Eurocup and the Northern European Cup. He did well in the NEC and finished 2nd with 3 wins and 297 points. He continued in both series for 2008, as well as competing in the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy. He finished 5th in Eurocup FR, 3rd in the NEC and 7th in the FPA trophy.
For 2009 he participated in his first Formula Two season, and also drove two races in FR 3.5. He finished 6th overall in F2, and decided to move to GP3 for its inaugural season in 2010. He drove for Mucke Motorsport, scoring 6 points for them and finishing 22nd – that’s not too bad in a field of 30 or more drivers.
This year, Tobias has moved back to F2 and is currently 5th with 91 points. He achieved his first pole position of the season in the first Brands Hatch race. He’s unlikely to catch up with Mirko Bortolotti, but his future looks good.

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