Formula 1 - Ferrari principal Domenicali hails Bianchi's start to 2013

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has hailed Marussia driver Jules Bianchi's "great" start to the season.

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Formula 1 - Bianchi delighted with his progress
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Marussia driver Jules Bianchi (Reuters)

Bianchi is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and has test experience with the Scuderia stretching back to 2009.

In the first three races of the season, Bianchi has qualified and finished as the leading driver in the battle between Marussia and Caterham.

"I think he is having a great season," said Domenicali of Bianchi.

"The first three races, he has had incredible pace with due respect to the car he has.

"I'm very pleased for him because he has put in a lot of effort to improve and is part of our programme."

Domenicali believes that if Bianchi can keep up his current rate of progress, the Frenchman will have the chance to move to a bigger team in the future.

Bianchi is on a one-year deal with Marussia, meaning that he could emerge as a potential target for bigger teams having missed out on a Force India drive this year to Adrian Sutil.

"I hope he can keep [up] this pace because I'm sure he will show his potential not only with his team, but also in the future with other teams," Domenicali said.

Ferrari continues to monitor Bianchi in his capacity as an FDA member, although he has less direct involvement with the team than he did previously.

"I don't do any simulator work, but I still train sometimes with them at the training camp in Maranello," Bianchi told AUTOSPORT.

"They still look at me because I am a Ferrari driver.

"It's very important for me to do well and show that they made a good choice by trusting me."

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