Mugello, Italy: Jules Bianchi got behind the wheels of VJM05 to kick start Sahara Force India's three-day testing, which ended in a limited running for the team in wet
After an agonising wait in the morning, the Frenchman, who last drove the car during Friday practice at the Chinese Grand Prix, finally got his chance and recorded a fastest lap of 1:25.475s during his 19 laps at the first day of testing on Tuesday.
After Bianchi, Paul di Resta will take up the testing responsibility on the second day followed by Nico Hulkenberg on the final day as Force India decided to split testing duties between its three drivers.
"In the morning we had to wait a long time for the track to dry. We did some runs on the intermediates just to check the car's systems and when the conditions improved I went back out on the dry tyres (medium) to get confident with the car and to feel the track conditions," Bianchi said.
"There was a chance to do some aero checks and we got some good aero data, but it was difficult to test all the developments so that will need to be done later this week."
Force India's chief engineer, Jakob Andreasen said: "We expected the wet weather conditions so we tried our best to work around them and made sure Jules was out on track when the track was at its driest.
"After some installation laps on the intermediates, he switched to the medium compound just before lunch and did a couple of runs to get a dry baseline and measured some of the aerodynamic pressures on the car."
"With the rain intensifying in the afternoon we opted to run a very limited programme. Jules got out towards the end of the session to do a final systems check," he added.