Final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing as it happened

Text commentary of the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, where Nico Rosberg is fastest.

3 March 2013 Last updated at 16:25

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As it happened

  1. 1620: 

    I'll see you bright and early (or late into the night depending on your sleeping strategy) at 0100 GMT on Friday 15 March for first practice for the Australian Grand Prix. Not long until we see those five lights go out again. I for one cannot wait. But until then, it's good afternoon from me.

  2. 1617: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's report. Keep an eye on over the next 12 days for all the latest from the Formula 1 world.

  3. 1614: 

    Anyway, that's about it from me. Thanks for your company - especially those who have been with me for the 32 hours of testing we've have over the last four days. Very dedicated indeed.

  4. 1612: 

    Part of me is sad that pre-season testing is over, but the other part is seriously excited about the fact the start of the season is almost upon us. In just 12 days time, the teams will be preparing themselves for Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix. That will kick-start a spectacular rollercoaster ride that will end in Brazil on 24 November.

  5. 1610: 

    1. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:20.130

    2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:20.494

    3. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.444

    4. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Sauber-Ferrari 1:21.541

    5. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus-Renault 1:21.658

    6. Paul di Resta (GB) Force India-Mercedes 1:21.664

    7. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams-Renault 1:22.415

    8. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault 1:22.514

    9. Vatteri Bottas (Fin) Williams-Renault 1:22.524

    10. Giedo van der Garde (Ned) Caterham-Renault 1:23.115

    11. Jules Bianchi (Fra) Marussia-Cosworth 1:23.167

    12. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.628

    13. Max Chilton (GB) Marussia-Cosworth 1:26.314

  6. 1605: 

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg finishes fastest on the final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

  7. 1600: 

    The chequered flag is out at Barcelona to officially mark the end of Formula 1 pre-season testing.

  8. 1555: 

    Lots of activity out on track with Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas all running in close proximity out on track. Jenson Button, meanwhile, dives into the pits for a practice stop before blast out of his box and back out on track.

  9. 1550: 

    I don't think we're going to get a headline time in the dying minutes to finish off this pre-season test as everyone out on track is lapping pretty slowly.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "The word on the street is that McLaren's long-run pace does not look too clever, although McLaren themselves insist it depends what run you look at and that they will be "in the mix". What is assumed to be a full-tank run from Jenson Button this afternoon went like this: 1:30.31, 30.27, 30.56. 30.8, 30.8, 31.17, 31.42, 32.05. Now, at 0.38kg per 10kg for fuel effect, then assume the hard tyres which he was on are 1.5 seconds slower than the softs (which is probably over-estimating the gap) and you get 7.2 seconds between a start-of-the-race lap and a qualifying lap. Calculate backwards and that gives a 23.11 - three seconds off what Nico Rosberg did this morning, a 20.1. Alternatively, calculate forwards from a 20.5 and you get 27.2, much slower than McLaren are actually doing. So something isn't adding up there."

  11. 1547: 

    Are you wondering what's going on at McLaren? Well Andrew Benson has been crunching the numbers - and it doesn't make encouraging reading if you're McLaren fan...

  12. 1544: 

    Williams already have one eye on the exit. Race team manager Dickie Stanford says that things are being removed from the garage, with 16 minutes still remaining, as the truckies pack parts onto the trucks.

  13. 1541: 

    Kimi Raikkonen improves again, moving up to fifth fastest in his Lotus after clocking a 1:21.658 on his soft tyres. That's around 1.5 seconds off the pace after 35 laps.

  14. 1538: 

    Kimi Raikkonen has headed back out on track in his Lotus for another run on the soft tyres. Red Bull's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, has chosen the harder compound tyres for his next run.

  15. 1533: 

    Marussia's Max Chilton improves to 1:24.1, but he stays 13th, 3.9 seconds off the pace. The Brit is 0.9 seconds slower than his team-mate Jules Bianchi managed this morning.

  16. 1528: 

    We're about to enter the final 30 minutes of testing with Kimi Raikkonen going sixth fastest after a two-lap run. The Finn clocks a 1:21.8 on soft tyres, 1.7 seconds adrift of Nico Rosberg's leading time.

  17. 1522: 

    Liam Price: "Has to be Button for pole, always strong in Australia and has a strong car as well."

    Mark in Barton: "I think it will be Alonso or Vettel on pole, with 5 different constructors' in the top five."

    Marcus Bird: "Mercedes front row lock out in Australia with Hamilton on pole, Alonso 3rd!"

    Who do you think will be on pole in Australia? Tweet us using the #bbcf1 or text 81111 (UK only).

  18. 1516: 

    Valtteri Bottas closes to within one tenth of a second of his Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado's best time from this morning. However, he remains eighth fastest overall.

  19. 1508: 

    Red Bull's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel is back out on track, this time sporting a set of hard tyres. Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, meanwhile, does a practice start at the end of the pit lane and then heads out to join the German.


    Force India: "Another successful race distance completed for our team, and Paul can return to the pits."

  21. 1504: 

    Valtteri Bottas clocks his best lap of the day - a 1:22.721 - which moves him from 10th to eighth. Looks like the Finn is a different programme to many of the others as he only took over the car at lunchtime from Pastor Maldonado. Incidentally, the Finn is 0.3 seconds slower than his Venezuelan team-mate managed this morning.

  22. 1502: 

    Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel has pitted, having run the unmarked tyres, while Jenson Button has headed back on track on the hard tyres.

  23. 1500: 

    Nicholas Forster: "Lewis Hamilton for pole in Melbourne. PS. Can't wait for it!"

    Harry Rumbold: "Think Lewis Hamilton will take pole in Australia, Mercedes seem to have the strongest car at the moment, but Red Bull might have something up their sleeve."

    Calumn Edward: "Sebastian Vettel, can't see a better car/qualifier combination really."

    Who do you think will be on pole in Melbourne? Tweet #bbcf1 or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name and F1 on those text messages.

  24. 1456: 

    Force India's Paul di Resta, Marussia's Max Chilton and Red Bull's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel are all out on track clocking up the laps at the moment. We've seen no change at the top of the timesheets, with Mercedes' Nico Rosberg still in P1 ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

  25. 1451: 

    As we close in on the final hour of pre-season testing, it's prediction time. Who do you think will be on pole position in Melbourne? Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only) remembering to put your name and F1 at the start of your text messages.

  26. 1448: 

    Caterham's Charles Pic and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg are the only two drivers to have clocked up more than 100 laps.

  27. 1443: 

    Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso, who hold the top two spots on the timesheets, are running in close proximity out on track. Meanwhile, McLaren's Jenson Button is still plodding around on the hard tyres. He's just had a huge lock up on the 14th lap of his run.

  28. 1435: 

    Caterham say Charles Pic has completed a 40-lap long run. The Frenchman had a quick break and is now back in the car ready to complete the rest of today's programme.

  29. 1427: 

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas does his best lap of the day - a 1:23.605 - which lifts him up to 10th, 3.45 seconds off the pace.

  30. 1423: 

    Sebastian Vettel is out on track in his Red Bull, with Jenson Button joining him out on track with the hard tyres.

  31. 1410: 

    For those just joining us, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg is current fastest on the final day of pre-season testing, 0.086 seconds quicker than Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. McLaren's Jenson Button is third overall, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel seventh.

  32. 1405: 

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, out on the soft tyres, is plodding around in the low 1m41s as he's doing a constant speed test to gather data.


    Aysha in Leicester: "Not getting too excited but are we really seeing a revived Mercedes? Roll on Australia, can't wait!"

  34. 1402: 

    Real mix of tyres on show at the moment. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is on the softs, Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg has just been in, after 12 laps, for a set of mediums while Force India's Paul di Resta is on the hards.


    Caterham: "24 laps into the race simulation for Charles Pic and he's going well with one pitstop done."

  36. 1353: 

    Valtteri Bottas is finally out on track for his first run of the day. Meanwhile, over at Marussia, you'll find Max Chilton focusing on pitstop practice.


    Ash Green: "All this pre-season testing is making me so unbelievably excited for the upcoming season. I can't wait!"

  38. 1349: 

    Esteban Gutierrez may have the day off, as Nico Hulkenberg is in the Sauber, but he's not at home with his feet up. Instead, you'll find him down at sector three checking out the cars in action - with his feet up...

  39. 1342: 

    Meanwhile, over at Lotus, Kimi Raikkonen is sat in the car having a debrief before heading out for his next run.

  40. 1336: 

    Williams race team manager Dickie Stanford reports that the sidepods have just been put on the car, the engine fired up and Valtteri Bottas is now stepping into the car.


    Williams: "Lunch done (Sunday roast for us here in Spain!) and the final prep is being done ready for #BOTTAS to get on track this afternoon."

  42. 1330: 
    Fernando Alonso

    Fernando Alonso has headed out on track on the soft tyres. Here's a shot of the Spaniard, who is currently second fastest, in his Ferrari.

  43. 1327: 

    Paul di Resta has just left the Force India garage to start his race simulation. Meanwhile, out on track Caterham's Charles Pic is already six laps into his race sim.

  44. 1325: 

    Williams are still getting the car ready for Valtteri Bottas. Race team manager Dickie Stanford says they hope to be ready to go in 15 minutes.

  45. 1322: 

    While Kimi Raikkonen is busy trying to get some track time in Barcelona, his Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean has more important things on his mind - which type of chocolate should he buy on his Sunday off?

  46. 1318: 

    Lush conditions out in Barcelona at the moment with a track temperature of 24C and air temp of 16C.

  47. 1316: 

    Max Chilton, who has taken over the Marussia from Jules Bianchi, clocks his first time of the day - a low 1m32 - which is good enough for last spot on the charts.

  48. 1312: 

    Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg, who finished the morning fourth fastest, 1.4 seconds off the pace, admits he's not entirely happy. "Not bad," he said. "Baseline is still good. Not entirely happy with the balance and handling so still work to be done." The German is planning to do a race simulation this afternoon.

  49. 1307: 

    It's a 1:23.890 for Kimi Raikkonen has he becomes the first man to cross the line this afternoon, but that still leaves him rooted to the bottom of the times, 3.76 seconds off the pace.

  50. 1304: 

    Unsurprisingly, Kimi Raikkonen is fast out of the blocks. The Finn missed most of the morning session while the team changed his gearbox - and that came after he was absent yesterday with food poisoning. Important, then, that he gets plenty of laps this afternoon.

  51. 1302: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The green light is on which means testing is back under way at sunny Barcelona.


    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg: "As we all know you need to be very careful with testing because we don't know what everyone is doing and we know for a fact that our competitors have not shown their potential, for sure.

    "What we can say is that we have definitely made progress. I'm pleased with the way the winter has gone. So pleased is probably the best word, but we need to wait and see."

  53. 1258: 

    Nico Rosberg has been talking to the media during the break and the general gist is he's keen not to get ahead of himself after setting the fastest time of the week earlier this morning....

  54. 1255: 

    Hello. Welcome back. Are you ready for the final session of pre-season testing? Good. Let's get started, then.

  55. 1235: 

    Right then, time to refuel. I'll be back at 1255 GMT. Here's Andrew Benson's report to keep you busy in the meantime. See you in a bit.

  56. 1228: 

    Before indulging in a spot of lunch, Pastor Maldonado is having a chat with his engineers about the set-up on his Williams. Valtteri Bottas will take over driving duties this afternoon, so another busy lunch for the Williams boys as they prep the car for the Finn's arrival.

  57. 1223: 

    Ferrari and Mercedes have shown their low-fuel pace, but McLaren and Red Bull still keeping their cards close to their chest.

  58. 1219: 

    After the quick laps of this morning, brace yourself for some longer runs this afternoon with race simulations on heavy fuel loads likely to be the order of the day.

  59. 1212: 

    1. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:20.130

    2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:20.494

    3. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.444

    4. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Sauber-Ferrari 1:21.541

    5. Paul di Resta (GB) Force India-Mercedes 1:21.664

    6. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams-Renault 1:22.415

    7. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault 1:22.514

    8. Giedo van der Garde (Ned) Caterham-Renault 1:23.115

    9. Jules Bianchi (Fra) Marussia-Cosworth 1:23.167

    10. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.628

    11. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus-Renault 1:24.396

  60. 1205: 

    So Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in his Mercedes after the morning session, a fraction ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. Current standings to follow.

  61. 1202: 

    The chequered flag is out and we're at lunch on the final day of pre-season testing.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Interesting that not long after the Caterham set a decent time, Bianchi in the Marussia has all but equalled it. Caterham look like they will need the upgrades they have coming on stream if they want to stay ahead of their back-of-the-grid rivals."

  63. 1158: 

    Jules Bianchi is all done, too. That'll be his last taste of his Marussia until first free practice for the Australian Grand Prix on 15 March. His team-mate Max Chilton is taking over this afternoon.

  64. 1157: 

    In contrast, Sauber have ended the session earlier after finishing their programme. Nico Hulkenberg has completed 46 laps today, with a best of 1:21.541, 1.4 seconds off the pace.

  65. 1155: 

    Kimi Raikkonen has just headed out on track with five minutes of the morning session remaining. The Finn has managed just one installation lap so far today.

  66. 1151: 

    Mercedes say Nico Rosberg is out on track on the mediums for a longer run. He's lapping in the high 1m28s,


    Williams: "We have support team with us here today as most the race team headed back to the factory to finish building our second #FW35 for Australia."

  68. 1141: 

    We've got a track temperature of 23C with the air temp creeping up to 13C.


    jacques_oneill: "Nico is one of the best qualifiers on the grid, he will give Lewis more of a challenge than Jenson ever did in qualifying."

    George: "I think it will be very interesting to see Rosberg and Hamilton pushing each other along as team-mates as we still don't really know exactly how good Nico is."

    Neil Steele: "Red Bull not showing their hand thus far in terms of lap times. Ominous for the rest."

    Get involved using the #bbcf1 hashtag or by texting 81111, remembering to put F1 and your name at the start of those texts.

  70. 1131: 

    Nico Rosberg just did a personal best in sector one, a new fastest time overall in sector two but lost out in sector three and overall was 0.05 seconds slower than his best. That suggests he is about at the limit of the car in the spec Mercedes are running it. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel's just gone out on mediums.

  71. 1127: 

    Fernando Alonso can only manage a 1:20.5 so he stays second in his Ferrari.

  72. 1125: 

    Jenson Button goes fourth fastest, 1.5 seconds off the pace while Fernando Alonso bolts on a set of softs and heads out.

  73. 1122: 

    Might be tempting fate here, but surprised we've not had a single red flag today. Handy for the teams who are making the most of the dry, sunny conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya.


    Rachel T: "Has Ross Brawn 'Brawn-ed' everyone again?"

  75. 1119: 

    What do you make of Ferrari's performance this morning? And what about Nico Rosberg's response to Mercedes' team-mate Lewis Hamilton's time yesterday by clocking the fastest time of the week? Have your say using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), putting your name and F1 at the start of the message.

  76. 1113: 

    Fernando Alonso's time at the top of the charts doesn't last long. Nico Rosberg responds, after being bumped down to second, with a sensational 1:20.130 on the soft tyres. That, my friends, is the fastest time we've seen at Barcelona all week.


    Lotus: "Update from Kimi: Zzzzz Zzzz Zzzzzzz Zzzzz. Can I drive yet? Eh? Uhhh. Zzzzz Zzzz Zzzzzzzzz."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "That 1:23.1 is a decent lap time from Charles Pic in the Caterham - and it provides a timely riposte to those who watched Jules Bianchi's impressive maiden run in the Marussia on Saturday and concluded Caterham might be a bit worried - i.e. me. There's a tasty battle brewing at the back of the grid between those two teams, even if there are no signs yet that they are ready to bridge the gap between them and back of the midfield group."

  79. 1106: 

    Boom. We have a new leader in the form of Fernando Alonso. The Ferrari driver bolts on a set of softs and goes quickest with 1:20.606. That's just 0.05 seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton's eye-catching lap from yesterday.

  80. 1057: 

    Nico Hulkenberg has just gone third fastest in the Sauber, clocking a 1:21.5 which is 0.818 seconds off the pace. Jules Bianchi improves, too, but he's still rooted to the bottom of the timesheets, 4.9 seconds off the pace in the Marussia.


    Andy Burns: "Massive reliability issues with Lotus. Big shame as they look promising out on track."


    Lotus: "We think the gearbox has picked up Kimi's bug so we're drafting in a replacement. Fortunately, it doesn't need to be flown in from Paris."

    For those of you who weren't around yesterday, the Paris comment refers to the team needing to fly Romain Grosjean back to Barcelona from the French capital after Raikkonen fell ill with food poisoning.

  83. 1048: 

    Still no lap time from Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn has yet to complete a timed lap all week in the Lotus and there's just four hours of running left today.

  84. 1043: 

    Caterham's Charles Pic has hoisted himself up into fifth fastest over all with a handy 1:23.1, 2.9 seconds off the pace. But he's soon relegated to sixth after Pastor Maldonado improves to slot into fourth in his Williams. Nico Rosberg still leads the way in his Mercedes, 0.086 seconds clear of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.


    Here are a few of your worst driver line-up suggestions...

    Anthony French: "Narain Karthikeyan and Luca Badoer maybe? 96 combined starts and just five (lucky) points for Karthikeyan."

    Mark in Enniskillen: "Worst line-up would be Grosjean and Maldonado! A lot of DNFs!"

    Mishta_P: "Giovanni Lavaggi and Taki Inoue, both driving the '97 Lola. A combination guaranteed to miss the 107% mark."

    Tweet us #bbcf1 or text 81111 (UK only) to have your say.

  86. 1037: 
    Fans at Circuit de Catalunya

    That lap from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will have delighted his loyal fans in the grandstand on the pit straight.

  87. 1035: 

    Fernando Alonso's quick lap is 0.45 seconds faster than Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa managed yesterday but 0.25 seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton's outright fastest time in the Mercedes.

  88. 1030: 

    Fernando Alonso finally gives us an insight into how quick that Ferrari really is. The Spaniard pumps in a 1:20.809 to close to within 0.086 seconds of Nico Rosberg's leading time in the Mercedes. The Ferrari is looking good. Very good. Game on.


    Force India: "Lots of small tweaks applied to the car, looking for the perfect balance on this Barcelona track. It's a crucial process as the characteristics of the track means that, if you are well set here, you've got a good base for a lot of tracks in the calendar."

  90. 1023: 

    Pretty quiet out on track at the moment with just Jules Bianchi in the Marussia and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo pounding round the Circuit de Catalunya at the minute.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "While much of the attention is on the front of the grid, there is plenty of interest elsewhere, including how the various novice drivers will get on. The two best placed to do well overall are Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez and Williams's Valtteri Bottas, as they have the most competitive cars. Gutierrez, who has replaced McLaren-bound Sergio Perez, says he feels he has had a decent winter but still needs to work on his qualifying form. What does he expect will be the toughest part of his debut race? 'The psychological point of view and qualifying,' he said. 'All sorts of things can come into your head and you have to make sure you don't get distracted by them.'"


    Aysha: "Lewis has the desire, will and passion to do something very special this year. He also has a point to prove."

    Tom in Brentwood: "Lewis's time was really positive but McLaren and Red Bull still to do a super hot lap and I think Mercedes' biggest problem will be tyre management. But with a 'street' circuit first off, I think Lewis and Nico could spring a surprise."

  93. 1020: 

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has turned up in Barcelona and is on the pit wall watching Sebastian Vettel's progress. The reigning world champion is currently third fastest, nearly 1.8 seconds off the pace.

  94. 1011: 

    Well would you look at that. Nico Rosberg clocks a 1:20.723 to reclaim top spot an move to within 0.2 seconds of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's outright fastest time yesterday. The German heads back to pits on a set of soft tyres.


    Force India: "As the air and track temperatures increase, the team takes the crucial decision to remove jackets, leave tops on."


    We've discussed the best liveries and reminisced about the great wet-weather drives. And on Saturday we debated the dream driver line-up. So on day four, in contrast to yesterday, I'd like to open the floor to suggestions of the worst driver line-up. You know the score. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only). Over to you.

  97. 1005: 

    Fernando Alonso heads out on the soft tyre and immediately pumps in the fastest lap of the morning - a 1:21.024. That's just under half-a-second slower than Lewis Hamilton's outright fastest time on Saturday.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Mark Webber said on Saturday that he had hoped the warmer temperatures finally experienced in Barcelona would have improved the extreme levels of degradation teams had been experiencing on the tyres, but that the degradation was still 'massive'. But Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says the situation will improve once the teams get to the warmer temperatures at races. 'As with previous winter tests, the degradation will be reduced (at races),' he said. 'The teams tested the (new) medium compound in Germany last year without issue.'"


    Jonny M: "Schumacher will be kicking himself if the new Mercedes car is able to win you the title."

  100. 0957: 

    1) Rosberg - 1:21.277 - 20 laps

    2) Alonso - 1:21.739 - 24 laps

    3) Vettel - 122.844 - 15 laps

    4) Button - 1:23.533 - 19 laps

    5) Hulkenberg - 1:23.778 - 20 laps

    6) Maldonado - 1:23.986 - 17 laps

    7) Di Resta - 1:24.284 - 15 laps

    8) Ricciardo - 1:24.664 - 19 laps

    9) Pic - 1:24.840 - 25 laps

    10) Bianchi - 1:29.169 - 31 laps

    11) Raikkonen - no time - 1 lap


    Lotus: "Though Kimi is fighting fit, the E21 has a little gearbox sniffle. Kimi's having a quick nap as we apply Vix vapour rub to the box."

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "So, I was wrong, it wasn't just the 'flo-viz' that was leading Ferrari to hide their car Red Bull-style when it comes into the pits. They're still at it. If it was me, I would be more interested in copying the things that might make the car go faster."

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Ferrari and Red Bull are probably the biggest mysteries of the winter. No-one doubts that the Red Bull will be competitive in Melbourne - they are triple world champions and the car has looked fantastic out on the track. But the Ferrari is more difficult to read. It seems to be genuinely fast, but there have been reliability problems, including Felipe Massa losing a front wheel when an upright broke on Saturday, and there have been no long runs to analyse. Perhaps Fernando Alonso's last day in the car on Sunday will provide more information."

  104. 0947: 

    The presence of Fernando Alonso, and no doubt the better weather conditions, has led to vastly increased numbers of spectators in the grandstand opposite the pits. Their man is currently second fastest, having broken into the 1m21s, to lie around half-a-second off the pace.

  105. 0941: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel's first time of the day is a 1:22.844, which is good enough for third, 1.5 seconds off the pace.

  106. 0933: 

    Lots of pre-grand prix weekend prep going on at the moment. Marussia are giving Jules Bianchi plenty of pitstop practice ahead of his F1 debut in Australia - as well as giving him lots of late calls into the pits and other live scenarios to get him race ready. Sauber, meanwhile, are doing more aero tests with Nico Hulkenberg before preparing the car for a qualifying simulation.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Ferrari have this morning taken a leaf out of the Red Bull book and surrounded Fernando Alonso's car with screens when he came back into the pits after one early run. I suspect, however, that this was only because the car was at the time covered in 'flo-viz' paint as they try to establish information about how various aerodynamic parts are working and they did not want people taking pictures of where the paint was leaving traces."

  108. 0923: 

    Bit busier out on track now with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who has just clocked another high 1m22 which is tantalisingly close to his best, Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg and Force India's Paul di Resta all pumping in the laps.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Oh dear. Things are not going well for Kimi Raikkonen. After missing his scheduled penultimate day of testing on Saturday with what his Lotus team said was 'food poisoning', the Finn has so far done just one lap and is now stranded in the garage with a gearbox problem. Not for the first time this winter either, it has to be said."

  110. 0918: 

    A few of you are asking why Kimi Raikkonen has only completed a single installation lap. Well here's Andrew Benson with the answer...

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "The Red Bull, with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel, is currently running in 'old-spec' - i.e. without the new front and rear wings that the team tried out with Mark Webber on Saturday. It's possible they will be doing a back-to-back test on the two different aerodynamic specifications. Or that the results with the new parts were not positive. Either way, they have - interestingly - stopped trying to hide the car as much as they were when it pulls into the pits."

  112. 0913: 

    Marussia new boy Jules Bianchi has been busy plugging away out on track this morning. The Frenchman has already clocked up 22 laps - with a best of 1:29.1 which is seven seconds off the pace.


    Mercedes: "As we head into the final day, Mercedes is second in the new-car mileage charts (4614 kms) behind only Sauber (4758 kms). Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton has also done the second-highest mileage of any driver (2584 kms) behind only Esteban Gutierrez (2768 kms).

  114. 0903: 

    Scintillating time from Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes, clocking a 1:21.277. That's the quickest of the day and the second fastest time set in Barcelona this year. Ominous.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Kimi Raikkonen missed his test day on Saturday with food poisoning but he is back in the car this morning. Team-mate Romain Grosjean was flown back to Paris for an extra afternoon's running in the Finn's absence and although his outright fastest time was nothing special he produced another good, strong, consistent heavy fuel run, heightening the sense that Lotus are right up there. Lotus team boss Eric Boullier said: 'We have a similar confidence (to last year) that we will be able to have some good results, but you can see more teams are capable to deliver.'"


    Jeff Parks: "We all know, give Lewis Hamilton the car and he will deliver, something McLaren couldn't do consistently!"

    Hoop: "Great run from Lewis yesterday but I'm sure Ferrari, Red Bull and Mclaren have something in reserve."

    Sion Stansfield: "I had a feeling Lewis Hamilton was keeping something special up his sleeve. That blistering time ruffled some F1 feathers I expect."

    Get involved using the #bbcf1 hashtag or by texting 81111 (UK only).

  117. 0858: 

    Pastor Maldonado, who is currently ninth fastest, is back in the garage where the team are busy making changes to his Williams before sending him out on another run. The Venezuelan will have fond memories of this track having won his one and only grand prix (so far) on this track last year.

  118. 0853: 

    For the Ferrari fans out there, I can tell you Fernando Alonso is out and about with a current best time of 1:25.9 which is good enough for fourth fastest, 3.6 seconds off the pace.

  119. 0849: 

    Nico Rosberg is our new leader, clocking a best of 1:22.381 to go 1.8 seconds clear of the field in his Mercedes. McLaren's Jenson Button is currently second fastest, running the medium tyres.

  120. 0843: 

    After running in the Williams simulator all week, the team's development driver Susie Woolf, who will get more time in the car this year as part of an expanded role, is in Barcelona and currently catching up with Valtteri Bottas.

  121. 0838: 

    Lewis Hamilton certainly boosted the excitement levels on Saturday with a blistering lap of 1:20.5. Do you agree with BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson that the Briton can win his second Formula 1 title this year? Do you think he'll be able to get the upper hand of Nico Rosberg? And what of Ferrari and Red Bull who are still keeping their cards close to their chest? I want your thoughts on the formbook ahead of the new season on this fine Sunday morning.

    You know the drill. Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on those messages.

  122. 0833: 

    The air temperature is a chilly 6C with the track hovering around the 17C mark.

  123. 0830: 

    Jules Bianchi is the third man to put a time on the board, clocking 1:31.989 seconds to go third fastest, 4.3 seconds off the pace in his Marussia. The Frenchman then pits as Charles Pic in the Caterham and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel head in the opposite direction.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Lewis Hamilton did a stunning job on Saturday. 20.5 was a pretty good lap but he also had about five laps' worth of fuel in the car at least so there is at least a 20.2 in there somewhere. So he should be going home pretty happy. His long runs looked pretty good as well. Felipe Massa had a bit of a fling in the Ferrari at the end of the day but he was still 0.7secs off. We'll have to see what Fernando Alonso can do on Sunday. It looks like it's going to be a very competitive season."

  125. 0820: 

    Paul di Resta is the first man to cross the finish line and set a timed lap. The Force India driver opens his account with a 1:28.643, but that is soon eclipsed by his former team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber. The German clocks 1:27.651 to head to the top of the pile.


    Williams: "We have a few more aero upgrades to test today so our first job is evaluating them this morning."

  127. 0816: 

    An exciting day lies ahead, with race simulations likely to be on the agenda for many. Everyone has been out on track for their installation laps, so shouldn't be long until we get the first timed lap...

  128. 0812: 

    It's pretty chilling in Barcelona, with some Williams team members having to de-ice their van before heading to the circuit this morning. Pastor Maldonado confirms that conditions haven't improved, saying the track is "super cold" and there's "no grip" out there at the moment.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Lewis Hamilton truly put the cat among the pigeons with his impressive one minute 20.5 seconds fastest time on Saturday - three-quarters of a second clear of the field. Mercedes have looked all winter as if they have made a decent step forward with their car, but Red Bull's Mark Webber and Lotus's Romain Grosjean both admitted the time was 'quick'. How quick - and just where Mercedes stand - remains to be seen. But Hamilton's performance has certainly added an extra degree of excitement and expectation to the build-up to the season. Will the final day of testing provide extra spice? With Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button all in action, it might well."

  130. 0807: 

    Jenson Button is out, too, in his McLaren along with Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg and Caterham's Charles Pic. Installation laps are the order of the day as usual for this time of the morning.

  131. 0804: 

    Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen, who missed yesterday's sessions with food poisoning, are the first two men out on track in their Mercedes and Lotus respectively.

  132. 0800: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    There's the green light - the track has been declared open. Time to burn some rubber.

  133. 0757: 

    Hello and welcome to our coverage of day four of the final pre-season test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya. The teams have seven hours of track time left before they pack up and return to their factories and I'll be here for every minute to guide you through. The pit lane opens for business at 0800. Not long now...

  134. 0755: 

    This. Is. It. The winter is almost over, the start of the season almost upon us. All that lies between the teams and the the season-opening Australian Grand Prix is one remaining pre-season test day. One last chance to refine their 2013 challengers before they head out on track in Melbourne in Friday free practice. Let's do this people.

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