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F1 NEWS 

Kamui Kobayashi fastest as first Barcelona F1 test ends

Kamui Kobayashi, SauberKamui Kobayashi put Sauber at the top of the timesheets as Formula 1's second pre-season test closed.

The Japanese driver managed a 1m22.312s on Pirelli's soft compound in the final hour of the morning, the fastest time set over all four days in Barcelona.

Having ended the morning fastest, Kobayashi's time came under little threat in the afternoon as teams followed the established pattern of focusing on long runs.

The same was true of Pastor Maldonado, who got within a quarter of a second of Kobayashi in the morning before focusing purely on long runs in the afternoon - in the process racking up 131 laps over the course of the day.

Paul di Resta was the only driver to move up the order in the final session, as a switch to supersoft rubber produced a 1m23.119s - enough to demote Jenson Button and claim third.

Di Resta brought about one of the day's three red flags when he went off into the gravel on the outside of Campsa during the morning. The second and third came in the final 15 minutes, as a result of 'out of fuel' runs for Sauber and McLaren respectively.

McLaren driver Button was the last driver to get within a second of Kobayashi, although the Briton set his fastest time relatively early on in the morning on hard tyres.

Like Button and the three drivers ahead in the timesheets, Felipe Massa's lap chart also broke into triple figures. The Brazilian ended the day fifth fastest in the F2012, and completed several runs of around 13 laps each in the afternoon.

Mark Webber and Jean-Eric Vergne both added to their lap counts in the afternoon, but with neither improving their times, stayed sixth and seventh, separated by just 0.018s.

Nico Rosberg achieved 139 laps during the day, second only to Kobayashi, after completing a full race simulation in the morning and several shorter runs in the afternoon.

The German ended the day eighth fastest, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen in the Caterham CT 01.

The Finn's day was interrupted by an electrical problem that forced the team to make an engine change, but he was eventually able to complete 70 laps. His best time came late in the afternoon.

A suspension problem meant Marussia was unable to complete a lap on the final day of testing for its 2011 car; the new MR 01 set to be unveiled in time for the third and final pre-season test.

Friday's times:

Pos  Driver         Team            Time                Laps
 1.  Kobayashi      Sauber          1m22.312s           145
 2.  Maldonado      Williams        1m22.561s  +0.249   134
 3.  Di Resta       Force India     1m23.119s  +0.807   101
 4.  Button         McLaren         1m23.200s  +0.888   115
 5.  Massa          Ferrari         1m23.563s  +1.251   103
 6.  Webber         Red Bull        1m23.774s  +1.462   85
 7.  Vergne         Toro Rosso      1m23.792s  +1.480   92
 8.  Rosberg        Mercedes        1m23.843s  +1.531   139
 9.  Kovalainen     Caterham        1m26.968s  +4.656   70
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