Ferrari protégé Davide Rigon completed his first laps at the wheel of one of the Scuderia's actual F1 cars as he replaced Jules Bianchi in the lone F2012 on day two of the young driver test at Magny-Cours.
The Italian, who was touted as a possible F1 star of the future after winning two Superleague Formula titles, has spent most of his time at Maranello working on the team's simulator, but eagerly accepted the opportunity to try 'the real thing' as he completed over 700 kilometres at the former French Grand Prix venue.
Familiar with the circuit having competed there in various other series, the Italian - who has been contracted to the Scuderia for 'sporting and promotional purposes' for the past two years - conducted a busy programme, focusing on aerodynamic measurements in the morning, before switching to set-up testing in the afternoon, correlating between the two areas and the work previously carried out in the simulator.
“I've already been to Magny-Cours twice in other categories, but driving an F1 car here was incredible!” he enthused at the end of the test, “At the start, I was very excited but, after ten laps, I was able to concentrate completely on the day's busy programme.
"Doing so many laps gave me the opportunity to improve my feeling at the wheel and to understand the difference between the work on the simulator and being on track in a real car. It was also useful that, technically, this track is very complete.”
Rigon completed 165 laps in total, with a best time of 1min 17.925secs putting him third on the timesheets. Bianchi returns from a day spent running with 2012 'employer' Force India to conduct the final day of testing for Ferrari on Thursday.