Bianchi enjoys first day in car
Rookie shared days driving with Paul di Resta
By William Esler. Last Updated: March 13, 2013 2:27pm
Jules Bianchi enjoyed his first taste of driving a Force India on Wednesday after sharing the second day of testing with Paul di Resta.
The team have made steady progress in Formula One and are looking to break into the top five in 2012.
The VJM05 has been put through an intense programme in the opening two days of testing as they look to extract the most from the car ahead of the season opener which is just 38 days away.
Bianchi who tested Ferrari in 2011 said: "It was a really good morning and great to get my chance in the new car so early on.
"There was a lot to get used to, especially the steering wheel and remembering where all the switches are, but it didn't take too long before I felt happy in the car.
"It may only have been half a day, but the team asked me to do quite a lot of things and we managed to complete almost 50 laps before lunch. For me this year is all about learning and helping the team as much as I can, so today was important for that and getting to know the team.
"It's great that I am back in the car tomorrow and I will try and get closer to the limit, because it's important preparation for my Friday practice running this year."
Scotland's Paul di Resta drove the car in the afternoon to complete his time in the car during the first test but feels that the car is strong heading into 2012.
Di Resta said: "Half a day, but quite intense - 69 laps in just over three hours, which is a really good effort.
"But it was also one of the more difficult days because the wind seemed to get very strong from midday onwards, which made driving the car very tricky.
"However, we managed to get a clear direction on a couple of set-up changes so that's given us an indication of the areas we should explore over the coming weeks.
"After 101 laps yesterday and 115 today, we've clearly built a good, strong car, but now it's about getting into the detail, going over the data and getting ready for Barcelona."
Technical director Andrew Green was also happy with the progress the team are making after two days of testing.
He said: "This morning was our first chance to work with Jules, so we focused on getting him comfortable and familiar with all the systems on the car.
"He acclimatised quickly and soon found his rhythm, which meant we could push ahead with the aero work we had planned for this morning. He did an excellent job, worked well with the engineers and has settled into the team.
"In the afternoon session, Paul evaluated some set-up options while running with different tyre compounds: soft, medium and hard.
"The windy track conditions made that quite challenging, but we made the best of it and managed to get an early indication of where we should focus our efforts to extract performance from the car."