Coulthard tops the times at Barcelona

David Coulthard emerged as the surprising pace-setter on the third and final day of testing at the Barcelona circuit, where all the Formula One teams were in action today

Coulthard tops the times at Barcelona

After several days of unimpressive times, the Scot finally showed the potential of the new Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull RB3, finishing ahead of the remaining 18 drivers who took to the Spanish circuit on the extremely windy session.

The Austrian squad's strong showing coincided with a visit from Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz in Barcelona.

Red Bull's day, however, was far from trouble-free, with Coulthard stopping with engine problems around lunchtime. Teammate Mark Webber forced the session to be halted twice after stopping on track, first early in the morning, and then around 2:30pm.

Coulthard's best lap of 1:21.855 put him a tenth of a second ahead of Nick Heidfeld, whose BMW Sauber team enjoyed another strong outing.

The team's third driver Sebastian Vettel took over from Robert Kubica to continue working with the second F1.07 chassis. The young German brought the session to a halt in the morning when he spun his car.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa, quickest yesterday, was third fastest today at the wheel of the F2007, although the Brazilian's day was not as good after stopping on track late in the day. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen was seventh fastest after only 45 laps.

Ferrari's drivers were joined by seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, who visited the Italian squad.

World champion Fernando Alonso and teammate Lewis Hamilton were again the men in charge of testing duties for McLaren, the duo enjoying a productive day, covering nearly 240 laps between them.

The Williams team were once more close to the top of the times thanks to Nico Rosberg, fifth fastest. Alex Wurz was down in 14th after a late problem with his FW29 cut his running short.

Renault drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen were ninth and tenth quickest respectively, the Italian driver trying a new aero package used by his Finnish teammate yesterday. Kovalainen managed 56 laps and caused a red flag when he stopped on track in the morning.

Honda's Jenson Button was 12th quickest as he and teammate Rubens Barrichello carried out aero comparison work over long runs.

Barrichello's day, however, finished early when he came into the pits with apparent engine-related problems around lunchtime. He didn't return to the track after that.

The Toro Rosso team completed their first day of work with the new STR2 car unveiled yesterday, with Tonio Liuzzi at the wheel. The Italian completed only 30 laps and finished five seconds off the pace.

Today's times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:21.855 112 2. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:21.958 96 3. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:21.964 92 4. Alonso McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.103 114 5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:22.280 86 6. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.292 125 7. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:22.369 45 8. Montagny Toyota (B) 1:22.446 107 9. Fisichella Renault (B) 1:22.758 90 10. Kovalainen Renault (B) 1:22.783 56 11. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:22.834 61 12. Button Honda (B) 1:23.061 91 13. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:23.257 39 14. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) 1:23.275 39 15. Vettel BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.569 56 16. R.Schumacher Toyota (B) 1:23.789 82 17. Albers Spyker-Ferrari (B) 1:23.947 87 18. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) 1:24.568 123 19. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:26.822 30 All Timing Unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers David Coulthard
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