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Ferrari test driver Jules Bianchi topped the timesheets on the first day of the Young Driver Test at Magny Cours.
Three teams were on duty on the first day of a three-day test, Ferrari, Force India and Mercedes.
Ferrari's programme centred mainly on two points: collecting aerodynamic data, with the car fitted with specific sensors for this task and adapting the car set-up to best suit Bianchi's driving style.
The day's running finished slightly ahead of schedule because of an electrical problem and up to that point, the Frenchman had completed 87 laps.
"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," said Bianchi, who is on duty for Force India also this week. "It's the first time I've driven this year's car and it was good opportunity for me to get some experience of it. I immediately felt comfortable, with a good pace, but right near the end of the session when I wanted to go for a time, we had a small electrical problem. Apart from that, it was a completely positive day: I really like driving this track and it's characteristics are particularly well suited to testing."
Luiz Razia enjoyed his first taste of the Force India VJM05, the Brazilian completing 65 laps on the way to posting a best time of 1:18.535.
"It's always valuable to spend time in a Formula One car and today has been really useful," said Razia. "It's given me the chance to get to know the team and get comfortable in the car. The biggest challenge was getting used to all the switches on the steering wheel so that was good experience and I learned about all the car's systems. I also got to experience KERS for the first time. 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. We made some improvements to the car during my runs in the afternoon and some balance corrections which worked well. I really enjoyed working with the team and hope I get the chance to build on this in the future."
"It was our first time working with Luiz and he impressed us straight away," added chief engineer, Jakob Andreasen. "He looked very comfortable in the car and was immediately giving good feedback on grip levels and car handling. We had a few technical issues in the morning, which kept us in the garage, but we got out straight after lunch and completed the programme. We tried to give Luiz a feel of what is needed to be a Formula One driver, so the day included some launches and pit stop simulations, and we also got his feedback on set-up items. He handled everything very well, including the KERS and DRS, and did all that we asked of him. The lap times were competitive and he set his best time on the soft tyres towards the end of the day."
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