Jules Bianchi has apologized to Force India after crashing early on in the third day of Formula 1 preseason testing at Jerez.
Bianchi, Force India's third driver, was scheduled to complete the morning session on day three and then hand over to Nico Hulkenberg, giving the German his first taste of the VJM05. He fell foul of bitter morning conditions however and, after completing just two installation runs, lost the rear at Sito Pons, skipping across the gravel and making contact with the tire barriers.
Although the car was recoverable and the damage relatively minor, the team was unable to get back underway as they require parts to come across from their UK base.
"I made a small mistake on my second run. The tires were a bit cold and I spun into the gravel and touched the wall with the right rear wheel," Bianchi explained. "It was not a very big impact, but it caused some damage. I'm very sorry because my mistake has cost the team a lot of time and effort.
"Going away from here I want to focus on the positives because we had a very good day yesterday and I've really enjoyed working with the team this week."
Force India's technical director Andre Green admitted the delay was frustrating, but said the team's productive start to the test – and the knowledge they will be back underway on Friday – helped alleviate the disappointment.
"[It's] a bit frustrating to lose some track time today, but we will take it on the chin because we had two very productive days earlier in the week with plenty of mileage," Green said. "The damage to the car was not that significant, but a lack of spares at this time of year meant we could not go back out in the afternoon.
"The car will be ready for tomorrow morning when Nico gets his test program underway. We will resume the aero work we started this morning and make the most of the tires that we saved from today's limited running."