Bianchi fastest again at Magny Course this time with Force India
12 September, 2012
Sep.12 (Apex) Jules Bianchi swapped from the driving the Ferrari F2012, on the first day of the young drivers test at Magny Cours, to the Force India VJM05 on the second day and again topped the timing sheets at the end of the three team test in France.
It is no secret that the young Frenchman is being evaluated by Force India, for whom he has done several FP1 sessions during the course of this season, for a possible promotion to the race seat in 2013.
He set an impressive time of 1minute 16.467 seconds during the course of the day, which was over one and a half seconds up on the previous day’s best set by himself in the Ferrari.
Bianchi summed up his day: “A very enjoyable day and great to do so many laps. I’ve done a lot of Friday practice sessions with the team, but when you spend a full day in the car you can do so much more and really start to find the limit. It was a chance for me to get more used to the control systems and experience the car on both high and low fuel. The team asked me to work on the set-up and we saw the lap times improve during the day. The time in the car today was very valuable and will allow me to help the team even more in the remaining seven races of the season.”
Michael Schumacher was on hand to watch and confer with Mercedes reserve driver sam Bird who was on duty in the W03, which featured the team’s Coanda effect exhaust system. Bird ended the day a tad over a second down on the day’s best time.
Bird said at the end of the day, “We’ve had a second very positive day at the test and successfully completed our planned schedule, including the evaluation of the performance items that we wanted to achieve. We’re happy with the results that we’ve seen so far and there is a lot of information to go through to hopefully help improve the car. It was a great experience to be back behind the wheel of a Formula One car this week, and to help with the development programme, and I would like to thank the team for giving me this opportunity.”
Davide Rigon, who took over from Bianchi, was on duty in the Ferrari for the first time. He spent most of the day evaluating various aero parts including several different front wing options on the F2012. He racked a massive 163 laps during the course of the day.
“I’ve already been to Magny-Cours twice in other categories, but driving a Formula 1 car here was incredible!” – said Rigon at the end of the day – “At the start I was very excited, but after ten laps I was able to concentrate completely on the day’s busy programme. Doing so many laps gave me the opportunity to improve my feeling at the wheel and to understand the difference between the work on the simulator and being on track in a real car. It was also useful that, technically, this track is very complete.”
The three day test ends on Thursday.
Magny Cours Young Drivers Test – Day 2
- Jules Bianchi (Force India-Mercedes): 1m16.467s – 117 laps
- Sam Bird (Mercedes): 1m17.482s – 125 laps
- Davide Rigon (Ferrari): 1m17.925s 163 laps
Subbed by AJN.