Bianchi tops day one for Ferrari at Magny Cours young drivers test
11 September, 2012
Sep.11 (Apex) Ferrari junior driver Jules Bianchi was fastest in the first day of the young driver test at Magny-Cours, ahead of Force India’s Luiz Razia and Mercedes’ Sam Bird, who were the only other drivers present.
Bianchi, the Force India reserve who has driven several Friday sessions for the team this season and is also part of the FDA (Ferrari Drivers Academy), used his experience to top the timing screens by almost half a second.
However, his session came to an early stop, though, when a mechanical problem on the Ferrari F2012 caused him to a come to a stop out on circuit with 84 laps notched up.
Razia, who is second in the GP2 Series points standings, had a full day in the cockpit of the Force India VJM05. A spin during the course of the day blotted what was otherwize an impressive day for the Brazilian.
Sam Bird was third fastest, in the Mercedes W03 – featuring a new exhaust system which the team are testing in an attempt to resolve their rear tyre wear problem, as they struggle to match the top teams in race pace. As for now the exhaust does not appear to have made a difference as Bird ended the day a second down on Bianchi’s best.
“We’ve had a very productive first day of the test today and were able to complete everything that we had planned on our programme,” Bird said afterwards. “It felt great to be back in the car again and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve driven at Magny Cours previously in a Formula Three car and it was good to experience it today in a Formula One car. The layout here is nice and smooth whilst also being quite challenging.”
Bianchi meanwhile switches to the Force India on Wednesday, with Davide Rigon taking over the Ferrari cockpit.
Magny Cours Young Drivers Test – Day 1
- Jules Bianchi (Ferrari): 1m18.070s
- Luiz Razia (Force India-Mercedes): 1m18.535s
- Sam Bird (Mercedes): 1m19.094s
Subbed by AJN.