Luca Filippi edged his GP2 Series rivals Andreas Zuber and Mike Conway to the fastest time when the trio embarked on a day of testing each with the Honda F1 team ahead of what could be a potential third driver deal.

With previous Honda test and reserve driver Christian Klien searching elsewhere for a drive, a vacancy has emerged in the team, with either Filippi, Zuber and Conway favourites to assume the role.

Their impression was so great that the team have invited all three drivers back to the team for the next test at Jerez in December.

Although times around the Circuit de Catalunya varied according to the day, Filippi, who drove on the second of three days, came away with the fastest time, the Italian managing a 1min 23.596secs over the course of 72 laps.

The second time he has driven an F1 car after a brief run in a Minardi in 2005, Filippi is looking forward to getting the chance to drive the car again.

"I had a great day on Wednesday and for sure it was one of the best days of my life. Over the day, I had time to learn the car and the circuit and I could feel the improvements coming by the end of running.

"The car was quite a challenge to drive, particularly without the traction control, but we made some changes on the car and found a good set-up so I was very happy with that. This was a great opportunity for a manufacturer team to give to young drivers and I am very grateful for that. The team were very professional and put no pressure on which was important, particularly at the beginning of the day. I look forward to the chance to drive again"

Zuber was second best of the trio after taking to the car on the third day of action, the iSport International managing 72 laps again and scoring a best lap of 1min 23.729secs.

"It was a completely new experience for me to drive the Honda Formula One car this week and very different to the GP2 car over the last two seasons. The car is so much more advanced in terms of aerodynamics, power and the braking. You could really feel the difference in the quick corners where you are right on the limit.

"There was a lot to learn about the electronics and the start procedure, and also getting used to power steering which makes the car feel so light. At the end of the day, I was happy with what I achieved and I hope that the team were satisfied with my performance. This has been a great opportunity for me and I would like to thank the Honda team for that."

A Honda Development Driver, Conway was the first driver to take to the car on day one, the Brit slightly off the pace of his rivals with a lap of 1min 24.065secs, but having the disadvantage of enduring a 'green' circuit.

"I had a really good day today. I settled into the car quickly and felt comfortable with the seat and the positioning which was good as it enabled us to concentrate on finding time right from the start.

"I felt that we were able to make progress throughout the day and found some good time when we ran with new tyres. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at Honda for a great day and I hope there is more to come in the future."



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