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Rosberg Quickest in Barcelona on Day Three

Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes W01

Nico Rosberg managed to peel off a quick lap early in today’s testing sessions in Barcelona, before ran fell.  The time was never bettered, even though the track began to dry later in the day.  Although drivers ran slick tires again in the afternoon session, and lap times fell, Rubens Barichello brought out a red flag after he spun into the kitty litter, which brought the afternoon session to a close.

It was Barichello’s second spin of the day.  He had made an off track excursion earlier, during the worst part of the rainy spell.  Even so, Barichello, normally very able in the wet, managed to record the fourth fastest time of the day.

Most of today’s testers concentrated on long, heavy-fuel runs, simulating race conditions.  It’s widely expected that, weather permitting, they’ll reveal their hands a bit more tomorrow, in qualifying trim.  It will be their last chance to do so prior to the season-openener in Bahrain, in two weeks’ time.

Thus far, of course, the lap times from most of the pre-season testing has given only partial glimpse of the teams’ relative performance.  While it’s easy to see that newbie teams like Lotus and Virgin are clearly at the bottom of the pecking order, the situation with the Big Four (Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren) is a bit more nebulous.

Even Michael Schumacher allowed that there were question marks regarding who would be the quickest out of the box in Bahrain.  As reported in Autosport, Schumacher said, “I don’t know who has played all their cards yet. Even with my experience I really struggle [to see who is quickest]. There are several teams that look very competitive.”

Image by slitzferrari, licensed through Creative Commons.

Pos. Driver Car Best Time Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W01 1:20.686 128
2 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso STR5 1:21.413 106
3 Jenson Button McLaren MP4-25 1:21.450 105
4 Rubens Barrichello Williams FW32 1:21.975 101
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari F10 1:22.344 115
6 Vitaly Petrov Renault R30 1:22.523 68
7 Adrian Sutil Force India VJM03 1:22.606 61
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB6 1:23.123 51
9 Jarno Trulli Lotus T127 1:25.059 102
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber C29 1:26.216 105
11 Timo Glock Virgin VR-01 1:26.305 31
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