Alguersuari tops rain-hit Jerez test

Jamie Alguersuari made up for team-mate Sebastien Buemi being knocked off top spot in the final moments of yesterday's Jerez test by setting the pace at the Spanish track on a rain-hit third day

Alguersuari tops rain-hit Jerez test

The 19-year-old set the best lap of the test, a 1m19.919, in the first hour of running while the track was still dry to end the day fastest for Scuderia Toro Rosso. With conditions getting worse late in the afternoon, most teams opted to end the day early.

Pedro de la Rosa ended the day second fastest for Sauber, 0.817s off Alguersuari, recovering from causing an early red flag when he stopped on track as a precaution to complete a quick run before the rain hit.

Adrian Sutil returned to the cockpit of the new Force India-Mercedes VJM03 for the first time since shaking it down at Silverstone. The German completed 48 laps in the car, with his running in the rain restricted mostly to short runs to try out systems and minor setup changes.

The team lost half of the afternoon after Sutil stopped with an electrical problem, the German managing 48 laps.

Felipe Massa, on his return to the cockpit for the Ferrari F10 for the first time since the second day at Valencia, set a time just two tenths off Alonso's best from Thursday. The Brazilian only had a brief window of opportunity to set a dry time, but completed a total of 72 laps after some stints later in the afternoon and was pleased with the car's performance in the wet.

"I have to say that the F10 has confirmed to be a very well set up car; I'm very happy with the sensations I had today," he said. "Let's hope that the weather is better tomorrow so we can drive more and start working on the set-up."

Driving duties in the Red Bull RB6 fell to Sebastian Vettel, completing 59 laps. He ended the day fifth fastest, and after sitting out much of the early afternoon as the rain feel also completed a series of runs in the afternoon.

Vitaly Petrov was back in the Renault for a second day after having to hand over yesterday's dry running to team-mate Robert Kubica. he spent a large part of the day completing single-lap runs, but turned some solid wet weather times during his afternoon stints.

Williams caused a red flag for the second successive day, with Rubens Barrichello getting caught out by slippery conditions in the morning and sliding off the track. The Brazilian didn't do any major damage to the car and completed a number of lengthy stints in the Cosworth-engined car, eventually notching up 120 laps.

Slowest of the drivers who set a relevant time was 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton, who set a 1m23.985s in the first hour, a time which suggests he was carrying a heavier fuel load.

Ex-Renault test driver Lucas di Grassi ended the day at the foot of the timesheets. He did not hit the track until the final two hours of the test after the Virgin, completing a seven-lap run straight out of the pits to ensure that the changes to the front wing mounting had been successful.

The Jerez test concludes tomorrow, with Michael Schumacher returning for Mercedes and Robert Kubica back in the Renault R30. The other eight teams plan to run the same drivers as today.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time     Laps
 1.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:19.919   76
 2.  de la Rosa    BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:20.736   58
 3.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:21.428   48
 4.  Massa         Ferrari               (B)  1:21.603   72
 5.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:21.783   59
 6.  Petrov        Renault               (B)  1:22.000   68
 7.  Rosberg       Mercedes GP           (B)  1:22.820   53
 8.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth     (B)  1:23.217  120
 9.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:23.985   68
10.  di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth       (B)  1:37.107    8

All Timing Unofficial
 
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