Bianchi finished the first session in 19th place, ahead of both Caterham cars and team-mate Chilton, who finished in 20th. However, they lost their advantage in the second session, slipping back to 21st and 22nd on the time sheets.
Discussing the day’s running, Bianchi said in a team statement: “Today I got my very first taste of this track and the whole night race experience and I have to say it is pretty sensational.”
The Frenchman added: “We had quite a big programme to get through and though we tried a lot of things to achieve the data, we lost the position advantage we had to Caterham in the first session, which is a bit of a shame. Nevertheless our times are very close considering I didn’t manage to resolve the understeer issues this evening, so I’m feeling quite confident for tomorrow and that we can be in a good fight this weekend.”
Team-mate Max Chilton was happy with his performance on Friday, saying: “I’m pretty pleased with how today has gone for me, though not as pleased as I would have been had we maintained position from this morning!”
The Brit, who finished ahead of his team-mate in the second practice session, added: “Having said that, we’re really close on lap time and we’ve done a lot of work with the car to be able to arrive at a good direction for tomorrow. We tried quite a few things and I think once we take all that into account to fine-tune the car, we’ll be in reasonable shape for qualifying. Not a bad start really.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic