Jules Bianchi continued his impressive form in Formula 1's young driver test at Magny-Cours by going fastest on the second day.
The Frenchman had tested for Ferrari on the opening day, but switched to Force India as the team evaluates his potential for a race seat in 2013.
He worked his way down to a 1m16.467s, more than 1.5 seconds faster than his benchmark on the opening day.
Bianchi's time was also less than two hundredths shy of Kimi Raikkonen's pole time set when F1 last raced at the French track in 2008.
In his second day at the wheel of the Mercedes W03, which ran with a new Coanda-effect exhaust layout, Sam Bird finished just over one second down the road.
Bird also had the opportunity to talk seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher through Mercedes' upgrades, with the German an interested observer during the morning running.
"We've had a second very positive day at the test and successfully completed our planned schedule, including the evaluation of the performance items that we wanted to achieve," said Bird. "We're happy with the results that we've seen so far and there is a lot of information to go through to hopefully help improve the car.
"It was a great experience to be back behind the wheel of a Formula One car this week, and to help with the development programme, and I would like to thank the team for giving me this opportunity."
With Bianchi switching to Force India, Ferrari gave Davide Rigon a run-out on the second day.
The Italian was tasked with aerodynamic work and ran with several different iterations of front wings, but worked his way down to a 1m17.925s.
The young driver test concludes tomorrow.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1m16.467s 117
2. Sam Bird Mercedes 1m17.482s + 1.015 125
3. Davide Rigon Ferrari 1m17.925s + 1.458 163
All Timing Unofficial
Sabrina Beaudoin is a French motorsport journalist who covers Formula 1 online. You can follow her on Twitter at @Sabriiico