• Young Driver Test, Day 2

Bianchi tops second day at Magny-Cours for Force India

ESPN Staff
September 12, 2012
Jules Bianchi set the fastest time for the second day in a row despite swapping cars © Sutton Images
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Jules Bianchi set the fastest time at the Young Driver Test in Magny Cours for the second day in a row despite switching from Ferrari to Force India for day two.

Bianchi, who is a Force India test driver and a member for the Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA), set a 1:16.467, over 1.5s faster than his time on Tuesday. He completed 117 laps in the Force India as he set out to make a good impression in the hope of securing a full-time drive at the team next year.

Mercedes' Sam Bird was second fastest in his second consecutive day at the wheel of the W03. Bird ran both old and new specification exhausts on the Mercedes ahead of a significant upgrade at the Singapore Grand Prix next weekend and said the day had been a success.

"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," Bird said. "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."

FDA driver Davide Rigon took over driving responsibilities at Ferrari, setting a best time of 1:17.925 and completing an impressive 165 laps - over 700 kms - on his first F1 outing at an official test.

"I've already been to Magny-Cours twice in other categories, but driving a Formula One car here was incredible!" he said "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."

Bianchi will be back in the Ferrari on Friday with Brendon Hartley taking over the Mercedes and Rodolfo Gonzalez slotting in at Force India.

Unofficial times

Driver Car Time Laps
1. Jules Bianchi Force India VJM05 1:16.467 117
2. Sam Bird Mercedes W03 1:17.482 125
3. Davide Rigon Ferrari F2012 1:17.925 165