Bianchi in line for Force India seat after impressive pre-season test

Sahara Force India, with only one main driver on their books, roped in reserve racer Jules Bianchi to share driving duties with Paul Di Resta.

Reported by: NDTVSports
Last updated on Saturday, 09 February, 2013 17:22 IST
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The fourth and final day of first pre-season Test in Jerez, Spain ended on Friday. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen topped the time sheets, edging out Force India's Jules Bianchi and triple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Sahara Force India, with only one main driver on their books, roped in Jules Bianchi to share driving duties with Paul Di Resta. Di Resta completed 49 laps in the new VJM06. Bianchi was classified 2nd while Paul di Resta ended 12th.

A candidate for the vacant race seat at Force India Bianchi said, "My first experience of the new car was very positive and it's clearly an improvement over last year's car. I spent most of the time on the medium tyres, but I got a chance to run the softs as well and they offered a lot of grip so I enjoyed that."

Bianchi finished 56 laps in the new VJM06. "It was also nice to do some long runs, so I've felt the car on heavy fuel, which is good for my experience. I'm pleased the team asked me to help out this week and I'm happy with how things went," he added.

Meanwhile Scot Di Resta was pleased with his 4-day Test at Jerez. "Overall it's been a positive test. We've worked our way through the programme set by the factory, done some aero mapping, explored the set-up and gathered lots of data. We covered a lot of laps and I'm feeling comfortable with the car. The main challenge at the moment is learning about the tyres, but we have lots of information to help us move in the right direction before the Barcelona test."

When asked about who will fill the vacant drivers seat at Force India Chief Race Engineer Jakob Andreasen was non-committal. "We leave Jerez feeling pretty satisfied with the work we have completed and what we have learned about the VJM06. It's good that we have a ten-day break (before the next pre-season test in Barcelona) because that should give us enough time to evaluate our performance and really understand where we stand."

Story first published on: Saturday, 09 February 2013 15:42 IST

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