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F1 NEWS 

Marussia impressed by Jules Bianchi's performances so far

Jules Bianchi, MarussiaMarussia believes Jules Bianchi is making the rest of the Formula 1 paddock sit up and take notice with his strong showings in his rookie season so far.

Bianchi landed at Marussia in place of the cash-strapped Luiz Razia just days after losing out to Adrian Sutil in the shoot-out for the second Force India seat.

Despite having little test mileage in the MR02, Bianchi has comfortably led the back of the field pack in the first two grands prix of 2013 and has snapped at the heels of Williams and Toro Rosso at times.

Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon said Bianchi was handling himself very well at the moment.

"The engineering team are helping him, making sure he's in the right place on the race track," Lowdon told AUTOSPORT.

"I think he's impressing a lot of people at the minute."

Analysis: Bianchi a boost for Marussia

Lowdon is also delighted with Bianchi's lack of errors.

"He's not making any mistakes," said the team chief.

"He had a bit of a wobble on the [wet] formation lap in Malaysia but everybody did. He ran wide but four or five cars did."

Bianchi has so far overshadowed team-mate Max Chilton, outqualifying the Briton by 0.8 seconds in Australia and 1.2s in Malaysia, and finishing around a minute ahead in both races.

Jules Bianchi, MarussiaThough both are rookies, Bianchi has been part of Ferrari's young driver programme and spent a year as number three at Force India.

Chilton is sure it is this experience gap that is hurting him, but he is sure he can match the Frenchman's performance.

"Obviously the inexperience is playing a part," said Chilton. "I was always a bit behind because he's had more.

"It's no excuse but we've got a bit to work on."

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