Ferrari's Jules Bianchi led the way on the opening day of Formula 1's young driver test at Magny-Cours on Tuesday. The Frenchman ended the day half a second quicker than Force India's Luiz Razia.
Bianchi, who has been Force India's reserve driver this year, completed 87 laps, with a best of 1m18.070s, as Ferrari evaluated a new front wing as part of its aerodynamic development program. His running came to an early end after he stopped at Chateau d'Eau with a suspected mechanical problem.
GP2 title contender Razia, having his first taste of Force India machinery, used soft tires to set a best lap of 1m18.535s during his 64 laps of running. His team was trying a new front wing, and the Brazilian brought out the red flags at one point during the afternoon when he spun at Imola.
Third-fastest Sam Bird was the center of much attention during the morning as Mercedes unveiled a new Coanda-effect exhaust layout as part of an update push it is having with its W03. He set a best time of 1m19.094s and completed 95 laps.
Bianchi will switch to the Force India car on Wednesday, as the team evaluates his potential for a race seat next year.
Davide Rigon will take over the Ferrari, while Bird continues evaluation of more Mercedes updates.