Formula 1

Bianchi Tops Timesheets Again on Day Two in Magny-Cours

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Jules Bianchi was the fastest driver once again on Day Two of the Young Driver Test.

Continuing from where he left off yesterday, albeit in a Force India rather than a Ferrari today, the Frenchman completed 117 laps of the Magny-Cours circuit.

Sam Bird, back for a second day of testing in the Mercedes, was second fastest while Davide Rigon appeared the most productive, completed 165 laps for Ferrari.

“A very enjoyable day and great to do so many laps,” said Bianchi, who will switch back to Ferrari for the final day of the test tomorrow. “I’ve done a lot of Friday practice sessions with [Force India], 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 paid a visit to Magny Cours to see how testing was progressing for his Mercedes team today, and hear Bird’s feedback on the new upgrades.

“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,” said Bird. “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 was clearly very excited to be driving a Ferrari today. The Italian has been on the books at Maranello for the last two years, but this was his first chance to get behind the wheel for the team in an official test.

“I’ve already been to Magny-Cours twice in other categories, but driving a Formula 1 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.”

The three teams return tomorrow for the final day of this Young Driver Test.


Magny-Cours Young Driver Test: Day Two Times

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1 France Jules Bianchi India Force India 1:16.467 117
2 United Kingdom Sam Bird Germany Mercedes 1:17.482 125
3 Italy Davide Rigon Italy Ferrari 1:17.925 165
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David is an occasional contributer to the site on matters related to Formula 1. You can follow him on twitter at @Dr_Bean.
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