Bianchi completes hat-trick in Magny-Cours test
13 September 2012 – Jules Bianchi has made it three out of three for this week’s F1 Young Driver Test at Magny-Cours. The Frenchman, driving for Ferrari once again, led the way as Brendon Hartley and Rodolfo González stepped into the Mercedes and Force India cars.
F1 was yet to visit the Circuit de Nevers since the French Grand Prix of 2008, but the second of three Young Driver tests for 2012 brought an end to that drought. Bianchi had begun the week in the role of Ferrari Driver Academy member, then spent a day in his more customary job of late at Force India. This morning, he reverted to the red car as all at Magny-Cours mourned the death of long-time FIA Medical Delegate Sid Watkins.
For a change, the best lap of the day came in the closing stages as Bianchi clocked 1:16.985; this was not as quick as Day 1, but conditions were also less favourable. For the record, Venezuelan González was a second slower, with Hartley – who had taken over from Sam Bird, having already completed Mercedes’ programme – a further six seconds off the top spot.
“It was an amazing feeling to be back driving a Formula 1 car today,” Hartley said. “The track was quite wet this morning so we lost some time but, once it had dried out, we were able to get on with the test programme, using mainly the Hard tyre. It was a successful day for both me and the team and we completed the programme, despite the weather.”
Bianchi completed the most laps, touring 136 times. In the morning, as showers were in the area, he enjoying a first outing with Pirelli’s green-marked Intermediate tyres. As soon as the test finished at six o’clock, he headed directly to the airport prior to this weekend’s latest rounds of Formula Renault 3.5 in Budapest.
F1 continues with Round 14 of 20, under lights in Singapore, next weekend