Hamilton on top at end of Jerez test

Lewis Hamilton ended the week on top at Jerez, the McLaren driver setting the fastest lap of the four-day test in the final 10 minutes of today's session

Hamilton on top at end of Jerez test

The former world champion set a 1m19.583s time during his late run, putting him half a second clear of previous pacesetter Adrian Sutil, who still completed a promising first test for the new Force India VJM03 in encouraging style.

Sutil also produced his best lap in the final hour on a day when teams were grateful to complete a significant amount of dry running and mostly prioritised runs on heavier fuel loads.

Although the day started wet, the track had dried by lunchtime and teams began to work on longer runs, with Ferrari's Felipe Massa the first to commit to a big stint.

Rubens Barrichello, who was hoping to find more performance from the Williams FW32 after the team spent three days concentrating on the Cosworth engine, set the third fastest time of the day on the fourth lap of an 11-lap run, 0.7s off Hamilton's time. The Brazilian completed a number of longer runs during the day and managed 90 laps in all.

Robert Kubica was fourth fastest for Renault, with Michael Schumacher fifth in his Mercedes and completing 83 laps despite causing a red flag in the middle of the afternoon when he deliberately ran the fuel tank dry shortly after setting his best time of the day.

The German's former team-mate Felipe Massa completed over two grand prix distance's worth of laps at Jerez driving the Ferrari F10. Despite causing an afternoon red flag when he stopped on track - also with an empty fuel track as part of a planned fuel consumption test - Massa ended the day seventh fastest overall behind Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull. The German lost some track time with an unspecified technical problem.

Sauber's Pedro de la Rosa achieved his aim of getting a large amount of dry mileage to make him less "rusty" with over 100 laps.

It was a good day for Virgin Racing, with Brazilian Lucas di Grassi completing 63 laps and setting a best time within 3.3s of the pace. He set the time in the late afternoon after a quiet morning, and also completed some longer runs for a car that had managed just 24 laps on the opening three days at Jerez.

The next test kicks off at the same circuit on February 17.

Pos  Driver              Team         Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren      1m19.583s            113
 2.  Adrian Sutil        Force India  1m20.180s  + 0.597s  83
 3.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams     1m20.341s  + 0.758s  90
 4.  Robert Kubica       Renault      1m20.358s  + 0.775s  85
 5.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes     1m20.613s  + 1.030s  83
 6.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull     1m21.203s  + 1.620s  89
 7.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari      1m21.485s  + 1.902s  160
 8.  Pedro de la Rosa    Sauber       1m22.134s  + 2.551s  105
 9.  Lucas di Grassi     Virgin       1m22.912s  + 3.329s  63
10.  Jaime Alguersuari   Toro Rosso   1m24.072s  + 4.489s  98

All timing unofficial

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