Fernando Alonso finished his final day of testing for Ferrari at the second test in Barcelona by topping the timesheets on the penultimate day.
Alonso set a 1:21.875 to narrowly miss out on beating the fastest time of the week set by Sergio Perez on day 2. His time was set on soft tyres in very cool conditions in the morning, as Ferrari attempted to understand how the soft compound Pirellis coped in the cooler conditions. Alonso switched back to heavy fuel running on medium tyres in the afternoon and completed 97 laps.
Nico Hulkenberg and Sauber impressed with the second fastest time, only 0.3s off the time set by Alonso. Hulkenberg’s time was also set on the soft tyres, before switching back to longer runs in the afternoon. Romain Grosjean finished the day in third with a 1:22.188 after a simulated race distance saw him complete four tyre changes during his 66 lap run. He also completed the most total laps of anyone, finishing the day with 119 laps.
Mercedes ended the day in fourth with Nico Rosberg setting a 1:22.611, just edging out Pastor Maldonado in the Williams who set a 1:22.675. Maldonado handed the car over to Valtteri Bottas in the afternoon, and the Finn just missed out on topping his team-mates time.
Jenson Button came in seventh for McLaren with a 1:22.840, ahead of the returning Adrian Sutil for Force India. Sutil completed 78 laps and seemed right at home in his first drive for the team in over a year, and his time was only a second off the fastest set by Fernando Alonso. The other candidate for the seat at Force India Jules Bianchi watched on, and will get his opportunity to impress tomorrow.
Red Bull had a low key day, with Mark Webber setting the ninth fastest time. The team completed 108 laps as they put their main focus on race simulation for most of the day. Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso was in tenth, as Jean-Eric Vergne set a 1:23.366.
Max Chilton and Marussia beat Caterham for the third consecutive day by finishing the time sheets in eleventh place, while Giedo van der Garde finished in twelfth after bringing another red flag out late in the day.
Testing wraps up tomorrow.
(Images copyright Sutton Images)