Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest time this week so far on the final morning of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The Sauber driver clocked a 1:22.312 on a fresh set of soft tyres to go 0.079s faster than Pastor Maldonado's best time from Thursday. He set the time on a five lap run late in the morning session when the track temperature was up to 34C.
Maldonado was second fastest with a 1:22.581 as Williams had a very productive morning with 85 laps in total. Jenson Button completed roughly two thirds of that total and set the third fastest time with a 1:23.200 as McLaren appeared to continue with their work on longer runs. On Thursday Button said a significant upgrade would arrive on the car at next week's test and only then would the team start to really refine the car's set-up ahead of Melbourne.
Paul di Resta was fourth fastest in the Force India after improving on his Thursday time by a couple of seconds. However, he caused a red flag mid-way through the morning when his car ended up pointing across the turn nine gravel trap. It was not clear how the car ended up there, but there was no obvious damage and it beached itself someway short of the tyre barriers.
On Thursday night Felipe Massa highlighted the importance of getting more mileage in the F2012 and he had a fairly productive morning with 56 laps in total. He also said the car was a big improvement over the Jerez-spec F2012, but he has yet to show its true pace with just the fifth fastest time of the morning and a series of practice starts on super-soft tyres before lunch.
Mark Webber was sixth fastest and completed 36 laps in total. Red Bull packed up its pit wall on Thursday night, apparently content with the three race simulations it has completed over the course of the week. Instead Webber completed a series of shorter runs with the team very keen to cover the rear of the car every time it returned to the garage.
Jean-Eric Vergne was seventh fastest in the Toro Rosso ahead of Nico Rosberg who completed a mammoth 92 laps at the wheel of the Mercedes. Heikki Kovalainen rounded off the times in ninth with a 1:27.047, but had his track time severely limited by an electrical problem with his engine.
|1.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber C31||1:22.312||63|
|2.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams FW34||1:22.561||86|
|3.||Jenson Button||McLaren MP4-27||1:23.200||50|
|4.||Paul di Resta||Force India VJM05||1:23.304||45|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F2012||1:23.563||56|
|6.||Mark Webber||Red Bull RB8||1:23.774||40|
|7.||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso STR07||1:23.792||45|
|8.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes W03||1:24.092||92|
|9.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham CT01||1:27.047||16|