Mar 16, 2013, 12:00 AM EDT
Friday practice may only have been Jules Bianchi’s third outing in the Marussia MR-02, but the French rookie has revealed he is excited about the rest of the season following some impressive lap times.
“It has been a very good first practice for the team and for me, so I am quite happy given that it is only my third day in the car.
“It is very encouraging to know that while we have a good basis today, there is a lot more to come.”
Bianchi finished ahead of both Caterham drivers and teammate Max Chilton in FP1 and FP2, with the more impressive statistic being the three-tenth gap to Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas in the respective sessions. Marussia regularly found themselves a few seconds off the midfield in 2012, so the reduced gap suggests the team has made a big step forward.
Despite the strong performance, Bianchi revealed that the team still has work to do for the race on Sunday.
“The car is performing well but we have quite a lot of understeer and we need to improve this.
“As for the track, I like it a lot. It takes a bit of getting used to at first, but once you are up to speed it’s an amazing lap and now I can’t wait to do some more tomorrow.”
A member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, Bianchi has been touted by many as being a future star in Formula One. If he can continue this good form in qualifying and the race, the Australian Grand Prix could present Marussia with their best chance of scoring points for the first time in the sport which would be a massive achievement for Bianchi and the team.
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