Sebastian Vettel put Red Bull at the head of the order on a test day for the first time in 2010, as the third preseason test got under way with another wet day at Jerez.
Conditions were difficult throughout the day, with sunshine only occasionally breaking through between heavy showers and persistent dampness. Vettel made the most of a brighter spell in early afternoon to set a best time of 1m22.593sec, which stood as the day's fastest.
Lewis Hamilton made a last-minute improvement as the track dried again to take second, 0.424sec down on Vettel. The McLaren driver demoted Ferrari's Felipe Massa to third. Both drivers had earlier lost a little time by stopping on track and contributing to the day's tally of five red flags.
Sebastien Buemi kept Toro Rosso near the top of the times with fourth place, ahead of Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa and Mercedes' Michael Schumacher. The latter was the most active driver of the day, completing 111 laps.
Force India used both reserve driver Paul di Resta and race driver Adrian Sutil. Di Resta caused an early red flag with a half-spin and eventually ended up just behind Sutil – who took over for the afternoon – in the order. Rubens Barrichello caused both of the other two red flags when his Williams came to a halt. He was 10th behind Renault's Vitaly Petrov, but did complete 109 laps when on track.
One of the most significant aspects of today's session was the new Lotus team's first test alongside its rivals. Reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy covered 76 laps in an encouraging start for the squad. The Malaysian was 9.2sec off Hamilton's pace, but 0.6sec in front of Virgin's Timo Glock, as the other new team present completed only 10 laps.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:22.593 99
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:23.017 72
3. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:23.204 72
4. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:23.322 79
5. de la Rosa BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.367 76
6. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:23.803 111
7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:24.272 28
8. di Resta Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:25.088 74
9. Petrov Renault (B) 1:26.237 55
10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:27.320 109
11. Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth (B) 1:31.848 76
12. Glock Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:32.417 10
All Timing Unofficial