Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel matched his team mate Mark Webber's Tuesday success by setting Wednesday's fastest time as this week's final pre-season test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya continued. Vettel posted a best of 1m 21.865s to beat the second-placed Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi by half a second and Webber's Tuesday time by almost seven-tenths.
Vitaly Petrov finished in third for Renault. Petrov completed 115 laps in the R31 as he carried out data gathering and set-up work. The Russian evaluated the car over long runs by simulating a race distance in the afternoon, using both the hard and soft compounds of dry tyre.
"I'm pleased with what we achieved today and I was able to learn a lot about the car and the tyres," he said. "We spent the morning doing shorter runs and working on the set-up, and I was pretty happy with the car by the end of the morning. But the most important thing was to complete the race distance, which we managed this afternoon. It's the first time I've been able to do consistent long runs and really start understanding the tyres."
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was fourth quickest, ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa in fifth. Massa completed 101 laps in the 150° Italia, tackling a full programme which focused on evaluating new updates on the car. Force India took the sixth slot with Paul di Resta continuing his strong form in the VJM04.
Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi was seventh fastest. Kobayashi completed 107 laps as he evaluated new parts on the C30. "It was an interesting and productive day for me, and we completed our programme as planned," said the Japanese driver. "We achieved a good mileage and learnt a lot. The set up work with the new car is different to last year's car, and it is good to get more experience with that. In the afternoon the way the track evolved was quite significant, and we struggled a bit with adapting the car and finding the right balance. But this is nothing to worry about."
Nico Rosberg was eighth for Mercedes GP, with Jarno Trulli in ninth for Lotus. Trulli completed 98 laps in the T128. The Italian concentrated on long runs as he evaluated tyre degradation and set-up options.
"We're pretty happy with how the day went - completing 98 laps gave us a chance to work through a number of setup options and we collected a lot of useful data on the tyre degradation," he said. "They're behaving pretty much how we expected them to and the changes we made to the car gave us the results we wanted so we'll look through all the information we've gathered and see if we can take another step forward tomorrow."
Pastor Maldonado for Williams and Virgin's Jerome D'Ambrosio completed the line-up in tenth and 11th respectively. Testing continues on Thursday.
Unofficial Wednesday test times from Barcelona:
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:21.865|
|2.||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||1:22.396|
|6.||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:24.334|
|8.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:25.807|