Ferrari Driver Academy members Jules Bianchi, Mirko Bortolotti and Daniel Zampieri had a day of testing in one of the team's 2008 Formula 1 cars at Fiorano on Friday.
The participants in Ferrari's new driver development scheme will get five such tests during the year. All three had previous Ferrari F1 testing experience, with Bortolotti and Zampieri having tested in winter 2008 and 2009, respectively, as part of the team's tie-up with Italian Formula 3, where both won titles, and Bianchi running in last December's young driver test session.
The Frenchman felt his performance at Fiorano was much stronger than in his first F1 test four months ago.
"Since Jerez, I gained lots of confidence with the car," said Bianchi, who will race in GP2 this year. "Today it was about going to the limit. In collaboration with the Academy's technicians, I've been working to improve my performance."
Luca Baldisserri, head of the Academy project, was pleased with the outcome of the test. "It's about physical and mental training, but we also made a physical check-up to check the drivers' health and their training level," he said. "Today's test was very intense, because three drivers took turns behind the wheel of a F1 single-seater. We're very satisfied, because we could see their first impressions and it was very interesting to see how young men, without real experience in F1, were doing with high-performance cars. The drivers gave it their all, but also had fun."
Fifteen-year-old karting graduate Raffaele Marciello, the fourth member of the Ferrari academy, was also in action at Fiorano in a Formula Abarth car earlier in the week.