Bianchi tops first day as Mercedes debuts coanda exhaust
The 3-day young driver test at Magny-Cours, France has today kicked off with 3 teams. Jules Bianchi went fastest for Ferrari, but all eyes were on Mercedes AMG as the team introduced a new exhaust design, similar to that used by McLaren and Ferrari.
Mercedes enjoyed a fruitful day with Sam Bird behind the wheel of the F1 W03 car. The team's programme focused on acclimatising Sam to the car and evaluating the team's latest upgrades. These included a new exhaust package, along with further work on understanding the Pirelli tyres
Image by XPB Images
Sam Bird, Mercedes AMG:
"We've had a very productive first day of the test today and were able to complete everything that we had planned on our programme. It felt great to be back in the car again and I enjoyed every minute of it. I've driven at Magny Cours previously in a Formula 3 car and it was good to experience it today in a Formula One car. The layout here is nice and smooth whilst also being quite challenging. We've collected a lot of data today which will take some time to sift through this evening and I'm looking forward to another good day tomorrow."
Luiz Razia, Sahara Force India:
“It’s always valuable to spend time in a Formula One car and today has been really useful. It’s given me the chance to get to know the team and get comfortable in the car. The biggest challenge was getting used to all the switches on the steering wheel so that was good experience and I learned about all the car’s systems. I also got to experience KERS for the first time. There were some issues with the car in the morning so I did most of my laps in the afternoon and the track just got faster and faster as the track rubbered in. We made some improvements to the car during my runs in the afternoon and some balance corrections which worked well. I really enjoyed working with the team and hope I get the chance to build on this in the future.”
Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer, Sahara Force India:
“It was our first time working with Luiz and he impressed us straight away. He looked very comfortable in the car and was immediately giving good feedback on grip levels and car handling. We had a few technical issues in the morning, which kept us in the garage, but we got out straight after lunch and completed the programme. We tried to give Luiz a feel of what is needed to be a Formula One driver, so the day included some launches and pit stop simulations, and we also got his feedback on set-up items. He handled everything very well, including the KERS and DRS, and did all that we asked of him. The lap times were competitive and he set his best time on the soft tyres towards the end of the day.”