Robin Frijns remained the fastest driver on day two of pre-season testing in the new Formula Renault 3.5 car at Paul Ricard.
The reigning Formula Renault Eurocup champion just edged out Tech 1's Jules Bianchi by two thousandths of a second, with Frijns' benchmark time more than a second faster than he had been on the opening day.
Frijns said: “We set off quite early this morning on fresh tyres, and we took advantage of the clear track to do the best we could.
“After the first few laps I felt comfortable in this car, which is perfectly suited to my driving style.”
In spite of the negligible margin ensuring Bianchi would not top the timesheets, he was in positive spirits after his first two days of running in FR3.5.
He said: “Everyone's first objective was to get used to the new car. It was also my first real session working with Tech 1 Racing, so it was important for us all to get started together.
“Compared to the cars I'm used to driving, with the exception of F1 cars, the aerodynamic load is pretty impressive and the car is great.”
Carlin's Kevin Magnussen took third, again by a similarly minute margin of just 0.023s ahead of Richie Stanaway's Lotus and the leading quartet were the only men to dip below the 1m46s mark.
“I'm really impressed by this new car,” said Magnussen.
“We haven't really had any major problems, which is always a danger when you use a car for the first time.
“I've been really blown away by the power and braking. We strung a number of laps together so that we could learn more.
Carlos Huertas was fifth fastest again in the sister Fortec car ahead of the triumvirate of Arthur Pic (DAMS), Walter Grubmuller (P1) and Sam Bird (ISR).
Despite setting identical times, Grubmuller finished the session ahead of Bird after setting his time earlier in the day.
Draco’s Andre Negrao and Lotus’s Marco Sorensen completed the top 10.
Day Two Times:
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Robin Frijns Fortec Motorsports 1m45.667s 2. Jules Bianchi Tech 1 Racing 1m45.669s + 0.002s 3. Kevin Magnussen Carlin 1m45.952s + 0.285s 4. Richie Stanaway Lotus 1m45.975s + 0.308s 5. Carlos Huertas Fortec Motorsports 1m46.116s + 0.449s 6. Arthur Pic Dams 1m46.128s + 0.461s 7. Walter Grubmuller P1 Motorsport 1m46.334s + 0.667s 8. Sam Bird Isr 1m46.334s + 0.667s 9. AndrÃ¨ Negrao International Draco 1m46.368s + 0.701s 10. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m46.376s + 0.709s 11. Nick Yelloly Comtec Racing 1m46.473s + 0.806s 12. Nico Muller International Draco 1m46.561s + 0.894s 13. Daniil Move P1 Motorsport 1m46.821s + 1.154s 14. Lucas Foresti Dams 1m46.922s + 1.255s 15. Alexander Rossi Arden Caterham 1m46.931s + 1.264s 16. Kevin Korjus Tech 1 Racing 1m46.944s + 1.277s 17. Vittorio Ghirelli Comtec Racing 1m47.705s + 2.038s 18. Will Stevens Carlin 1m47.719s + 2.052s 19. Zoel Amberg Pons Racing 1m47.724s + 2.057s 20. Anton Nebylitskiy Team Rfr 1m47.821s + 2.154s 21. Lewis Williamson Arden Caterham 1m47.848s + 2.181s 22. Nicolay Martsenko Bvm Target 1m47.912s + 2.245s 23. Jake Rosenzweig Isr 1m47.997s + 2.330s 24. Mikhail Aleshin Team Rfr 1m48.021s + 2.354s 25. Giovanni Venturini Bvm Target 1m48.261s + 2.594s 26. Yann Cunha Pons Racing 1m49.319s + 3.652s