When Marussia’s original second driver, Luiz Razia couldn’t raise the funds from his backers (or they didn’t deliver) the team had to rapidly sign up someone else to partner Max Chilton.  The man to step up was Force India’s reserve driver Jules Bianchi, a rookie who was highly tipped to do very well in F1.

And oh my, did he do well!  Yes, yes it’s just one race but he only had good things to say about his Marussia car and it was evident that he was more than comfortable taking it through to 15th place, ahead of the Caterham drivers and his team mate.

Not a bad result, especially when you consider the lack of running he had before heading downunder.  It’s not just the result that’s impressive either – did you know that he also had the 11th fastest lap of the whole race, just 0.045s slower than Sebastian Vettel’s quickest time…

Bianchi leads his immediate rivals in Australia - photo: Marussia F1 Media
Bianchi leads his immediate rivals in Australia – photo: Marussia F1 Media

Yes, Jules Bianchi’s best lap was only 0.045s slower than Sebastian Vettel’s best.

Blimey.

This man definitely deserves to be one our ‘Hot Rods’ from the Australian Grand Prix – well done sir!

For those interested, here’s the full list of fastest laps from Sunday’s race:

RankDriverFastest LapDiffLap
1Kimi Raikkonen1'29.27456
2Jean-Eric Vergne1'29.4980.22450
3Fernando Alonso1'29.5600.28653
4Mark Webber1'29.7320.45845
5Lewis Hamilton1'29.7590.48545
6Sergio Perez1'29.9260.65246
7Jenson Button1'30.1980.92441
8Felipe Massa1'30.2390.96538
9Romain Grosjean1'30.3951.12141
10Sebastian Vettel1'30.4091.13542
11Jules Bianchi1'30.4541.1852
12Valtteri Bottas1'30.6521.37842
13Adrian Sutil1'30.7101.43649
14Daniel Ricciardo1'30.8811.60733
15Paul Di Resta1'30.8941.6256
16E.Gutierrez1'31.4152.14132
17Max Chilton1'32.2102.93649
18Nico Rosberg1'32.2592.98518
19Charles Pic1'32.2612.98755
20G.van der Garde1'32.6363.36239
21Pastor Maldonado1'32.9153.64112
22Nico Hulkenberg---