• Barcelona Testing - Day Four

Hamilton tops final day of pre-season testing

ESPNF1 Staff
February 28, 2010 « Schumacher revises opinion on Mercedes' chances | »

Day Four Gallery

Lewis Hamilton went fastest on the final day of testing in Barcelona, as the morning session offered the clearest picture yet of how qualifying in Bahrain might unfold in two week's time.

The McLaren driver was fractionally faster than Mark Webber in the Red Bull and Felipe Massa in the Ferrari, as all four of the front-running teams performed low-fuel runs at the same time. McLaren had brought updates to its car and Hamilton made the most of them, setting the fastest time of the week with a 1:20.437. Michael Schumacher and Mercedes were just 0.2 seconds off the pace, but with the field so tightly packed and no knowledge of the exact fuel loads, it is still impossible to know for sure how the teams stack up.

The longer runs were even harder to call, with a wide variety of times being recorded depending on the fuel levels. Both Hamilton and Schumacher were running race simulations in the afternoon and came into the pits to perform practice tyre changes. The McLaren was typically running in the 1:23s, while the heavier-fuelled Schumacher started in the 1:25s and ended up in the 1:22s towards the end of his run.

Force India put itself in the running to be a potential surprise package, with Adrian Sutil clocking the fourth fastest time while the big names were concentrating on longer stints in the afternoon. He was ahead of Sebastian Vettel in fifth, who took part in the morning session for Red Bull before handing the car to Webber, and Schumacher in sixth. Williams' Rubens Barrichello was seventh fastest and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi eighth, just 0.4 seconds off Hamilton's time. However, any plans for the drivers to put in a last-minute flyer were dashed by a spate of four red flags in the last half hour.

The cars won't be back on track again until the first race in Bahrain © Sutton Images

Further off the pace were Sebastien Buemi in the Toro Rosso and Robert Kubica in the Renault. Renault brought an update to its car as well, but didn't show off the R30s true potential as it decided to focus on long runs rather than headline times.

At the back of the field Lotus and Virgin made their final preparations ahead of their race debut in Bahrain. Both enjoyed improved reliability despite failing to rack up the same amount of laps as some of their more experienced competitors.

Pos. Driver Car Best Lap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren MP4-25 1:20.472 134
2. Mark Webber Red Bull RB6 1:20.496 59
3. Felipe Massa Ferrari F10 1:20.539 113
4. Adrian Sutil Force India VJM03 1:20.611 99
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB6 1:20.667 76
6. Michael Schumacher Mercedes W01 1:20.745 122
7. Rubens Barrichello Williams FW32 1:20.870 83
8. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber C29 1:20.911 67
9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso STR5 1:22.135 87
10. Robert Kubica Renault R30 1:23.175 106
11 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus T127 1:25.251 65
12. Lucas di Grassi Virgin VR01 1:26.160 47