Sergio Perez remained on top of the times for Sauber on day three of the final preseason Formula 1 test at Barcelona on Saturday, despite not improving on his morning mark.
The Mexican, who had reached the midday break on top thanks to his 1m22.094s lap on soft Pirelli rubber, joined most of the rest of the field in concentrating on race simulations with heavy fuel loads during the afternoon.
Jenson Button was one of the few drivers not to undertake a long run in the afternoon. The McLaren driver made the most of medium-compound tires and a lower fuel load to climb to second place, only 0.009sec adrift of Perez.
Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) completed the most laps of anybody – 130 – and this included an impressive 35-lap stint on a succession of sets of soft tires. A further run of a similar distance was shortened by the onset of mid-afternoon rain. The track did not dry enough to enable anybody to switch back to slicks before the end of the day.
Felipe Massa was fourth fastest in the Ferrari and was, like Ricciardo, one of the few to take to the track on intermediate rubber during the height of the rain. Paul di Resta was next up for Force India, the British driver just managing to finish his 52-lap race simulation as the rain began to fall.
There was only one flag during the afternoon, caused when Bruno Senna stopped on the approach to the La Caixa hairpin. The Williams driver was sixth fastest.
Behind him were Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham and the Red Bull of Mark Webber – who completed just a single run of more than five laps during the entire day.
Propping up the times were Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg and Lotus man Kimi Raikkonen. The 2007 World Champion lost over an hour during the morning while an issue with his steering was rectified and only completed 43 laps during the day.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Perez Sauber 1m22.094s 114
2. Button McLaren 1m22.103s +0.009 44
3. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m22.155s +0.061 131
4. Massa Ferrari 1m22.413s +0.319 122
5. Di Resta Force India 1m22.446s +0.352 108
6. Senna Williams 1m22.480s +0.386 111
7. Kovalainen Caterham 1m22.630s +0.536 64
8. Webber Red Bull 1m22.662s +0.568 70
9. Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.932s +0.838 129
10. Raikkonen Lotus 1m25.379s +3.285 43