• Jerez Test, Day Four

Bianchi notes 'clear improvement' at Force India

ESPN Staff
February 8, 2013 « Vettel not interested in others but happy with RB9 | Vergne 'much more confident' of STR8 »
Jules Bianchi was second quickest on his only day in the Force India © Sutton Images
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Jules Bianchi said the VJM06 is "clearly an improvement" over the 2012 Force India after driving for the team on Friday.

With Force India still to decide on its second driver, Bianchi was selected to drive on the final day at Jerez as he could directly compare the new car with last year's VJM05 which he had driven in his previous role as third driver. An impressive time set in the morning saw Bianchi end the day second quickest - just 0.027s slower than Kimi Raikkonen - and Bianchi said his first impression of the car was very positive.

"My first experience of the new car was very positive and it's clearly an improvement over last year's car," Bianchi said. "I spent most of the time on the medium tyres, but I got a chance to run the softs as well and they offered a lot of grip so I enjoyed that. It was also nice to do some long runs, so I've felt the car on heavy fuel, which is good for my experience. I'm pleased the team asked me to help out this week and I'm happy with how things went today."

Bianchi remains in the running for the second Force India seat along with Adrian Sutil and "a few others" according to deputy team principal Bob Fernley, with a decision on who will partner Paul di Resta expected to be made before the second test in Barcelona. Di Resta himself was pleased with the progress the team made during the first test.

"Overall it's been a positive test," di Resta said. "We've worked our way through the programme set by the factory, done some aero mapping, explored the set-up and gathered lots of data. We covered a lot of laps and I'm feeling comfortable with the car. The main challenge at the moment is learning about the tyres, but we have lots of information to help us move in the right direction before the Barcelona test."