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Bianchi tops Silverstone timesheets on Day 2

NEWS STORY
09/07/2014

Deputising for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari, Jules Bianchi set the pace on the second and final day of the Silverstone in-season test.

The Frenchman, a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy since 2010, was a last minute call-up following Raikkonen's crash on the opening laps of Sunday's Grand Prix.

On the agenda for the Marussia driver were aerodynamic and set-up tests on the F14 T, the Frenchman completing 89 laps on the medium and hard tyres, as well as doing some practice starts on the softer of the two compounds.

"By the end of the day I got a really good feeling in the car, even if at the start, it was not so easy adapting to a car that's very different to the one I race," said Bianchi. "The parameters are completely different and I spent the first runs getting used to it. Today we worked on race set-up, trying various settings, both old and new, aimed at producing improvements in the coming races.

"Putting on a Ferrari race suit is always a special feeling," he continued, "and I hope one day I can wear it as a race driver, even if I have a lot to learn. But above all, I have a job to do for my Marussia team and so far the season is going really well."

Next up was Toro Rosso where Daniil Kvyat was at the wheel as the Faenza team began the day with some aero measurement runs. He also did some tyre work, getting in three runs on the medium and soft compound tyres. In the afternoon, the programme switched to evaluating changes to the mechanical set-up and the Russian driver ended the test doing some runs with a high fuel load.

"I felt this was a very productive day," said Kvyat, "ticking a lot of boxes on our programme. Personally, I found it very useful and learned a lot. The tyre management tests in the morning were particularly useful. Now we can look at all the data we gathered here and I think some of it could already be useful from the next race in Germany. It's a shame that a red flag towards the end of the session meant we didn't complete everything on our agenda, but it was still a good day."

Following yesterday's programme with vandoorne pphotlinkhighlight}Stoffel Vandoorne, today Kevin Magnussen took the wheel at McLaren. His morning's programme kicked off with some aerodynamic tests, which included completing several runs with a large measuring rake fitted behind the front wheels to measure airflow.

In a similar afternoon programme to yesterday, the post-lunch session was spent completing a number of runs to understand and evaluate different Pirelli tyre compounds.

The Dane rounded out the day by completing 91 laps and a number of productive long runs, which will hopefully arm the team with some useful data ahead of next week's German Grand Prix.

Test and reserve driver Giedo van der Garde was behind the wheel of the Sauber C33. Unfortunately, during the short runs at the end of the afternoon session the Dutch driver lost the car in Copse Corner and crashed into the guardrail. Though he was unhurt, the damage and requisite repairs to the guardrails meant the day's testing was brought to an end half-an-hour earlier than planned.

"It was a pretty good morning, as we tested the hard tyres and they worked quite well," said Van der Garde. "It seemed that we made some good changes to the car. With the medium tyres I struggled a bit with oversteer. In the afternoon, during my last outing on the soft tyres, I unfortunately lost the rear of the car and went into the barrier on my second lap when I was pushing. It was a hard crash, but luckily I am fine."

"In the morning we worked on aerodynamic measurements and continued with the car development programme in order to improve its performance," added Paul Russell, the team's Test Engineer. "We were able to finish our measurements, checked the new aero parts and continued our regular set-up work. In the afternoon we did set-up work for the car's long term development. Shortly before the end of the session, unfortunately Giedo lost the car in Copse Corner and went off."

Three days after his popular victory there will still fans in the stands cheering on Lewis Hamilton as he returned to work with Mercedes. Today's programme focussed on car setup, aero development testing and data collection, as well as engine settings.

The Briton emerged for his first run at 09:05, completing 47 laps by the end of the day. A spin caused an early red flag after running with colder tyres from several slower aero evaluation laps. The team changed also the engine on his car after an initial run in the morning, meaning he didn't get as much track time as had been hoped.

"It wasn't an easy day today," admitted Hamilton, "we had great weather but unfortunately had some problems at the start of the day which meant we lost some track time. The guys did a fantastic job to get the car ready again and we were able to put together a few successful runs. At the end of the day, we were going to do more important runs but the red flag came out. It could have been a lot worse as it could have been raining or we could have even done no laps, but some of the things we've tried in the car feel really positive.

"I'm really pumped now for the next race in Germany," he added. "It's a constant challenge for the team to try to stay ahead and I hope we can continue to do that there."

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1. Posted by Marybeth, 10/07/2014 0:03

"Which car was Bianchi driving...? Kimi's...?"

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