Jules Bianchi was enduring a “difficult time” in his relationship with Ferrari when he crashed at Suzuka in 2014.
That is the claim of F1 veteran Felipe Massa, as the sport this week marks the one year anniversary of the tragic death of the former Marussia driver.
Bianchi, 25, was widely regarded as a Ferrari driver of the future when he speared off the track in fading light during the 2014 Japanese grand prix.
Massa agreed: “He was a driver who should have had the chance to race for Ferrari. At the time, there was talk that he could go there and that they were talking.
“He was having a difficult time in his talks with Ferrari,” the Brazilian, who drove for Ferrari for eight years until he was dropped at the end of 2013, told UOL Grande Premio.
“But his talent was clear. I always thought he was a driver who could be very successful in F1,” added Massa, who was close to Bianchi as they shared a manager in Nicolas Todt.
At the time of his ultimately fatal crash, Bianchi was the leading member of Ferrari’s driver development academy.