Driving for Ferrari, Jules Bianchi featured on the top of a short timesheet on the opening day of the young driver test at Magny-Cours on Tuesday.
The Frenchman completed 87 laps collecting aerodynamic data, clocking the quickest time of 1 minute 18.070 seconds to register the fastest lap among the three drivers who took part.
The day’s running for the Italian outfit however finished slightly ahead of schedule because of an electrical problem.
“Today we tried various aerodynamic components which are not big evolutions for the car, but things already tried on Fridays at the races and brought here to confirm some of the data,” Bianchi reported.
A part of the programme for the three teams included getting the drivers comfortable in a Formula 1 car’s systems.
Bianchi is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy but has been named as Force India’s test driver for this season. Davide Rigon will take over from Bianchi on Wednesday.
Force India fielded Luiz Razia for the session, who was 0.465 seconds off Bianchi’s time from his 65 laps.
Razia’s car too had a few technical issues in the morning which kept it in the garage but the team claimed that it completed its programme post-lunch.
“There were some issues with the car in the morning so I did most of my laps in the afternoon and the track just got faster and faster as the track rubbered in,” Razia said. “We made some improvements to the car during my runs in the afternoon and some balance corrections which worked well.”
Mercedes’ development driver Sam Bird however did the most number of laps with 95 but was just over a second slower than the Ferrari.
The German manufacturer tested a new exhaust package, along with further work on understanding the Pirelli tyres.
“We’ve collected a lot of data today which will take some time to sift through this evening and I’m looking forward to another good day tomorrow,” Bird said.