Sergio Perez sets pace on penultimate morning of final pre-season test

Sergio Perez ended the morning session in Barcelona on top, setting the fastest time recorded at Barcelona this year

Sergio Perez sets pace on penultimate morning of final pre-season test

The Sauber driver scorched his way to a 1m22.094s best while completing a qualifying simulation on soft tyres, just 40 minutes before the lunch break. He reappeared moments later on supersofts, but was unable to eclipse his previous benchmark time.

Perez's fastest time came just minutes after Daniel Ricciardo had jumped to the top of the sheets on supersoft tyres, the Australian just one of many drivers to break the 1m23s barrier during a flurry of quick laps on the red-marked Pirellis.

Ricciardo wound up second for the session, ahead of Felipe Massa, who sat on top of the sheets for much of the morning after setting his fastest time on supersofts quite early.

In total, there were eight drivers sub-1m23s, a stark contrast to yesterday (Friday) where only Romain Grosjean recorded a time in the 1m22s bracket.

Behind the leading three this morning it was Paul di Resta, Bruno Senna, and Heikki Kovalainen in the Caterham.

Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg were also in the 1m22 bracket, although neither used supersoft tyres at all throughout the morning. Webber set his best lap with a late run on soft tyres to go seventh in the revised Red Bull. Rosberg meanwhile focussed almost exclusively on short soft tyre runs, setting a 1m22.932s best along the way to be eighth, as well as completing more laps than anyone else with 63 throughout the morning programme.

Neither Jenson Button nor Kimi Raikkonen did much work this morning, with Button only completing 17 laps, most of which were completed in the first two hours.

Raikkonen, meanwhile, spent most of the morning in the garage, having been unable to get comfortable with the Lotus's steering. He also only completed 17 laps, and was slowest of the 10 drivers, 3.526s behind Perez.

 TODAY'S TIMES Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Perez Sauber 1m22.094s 49 2. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m22.155s +0.061 50 3. Massa Ferrari 1m22.413s +0.319 48 4. Di Resta Force India 1m22.446s +0.352 45 5. Senna Williams 1m22.480s +0.386 36 6. Kovalainen Caterham 1m22.630s +0.536 44 7. Webber Red Bull 1m22.662s +0.568 46 8. Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.932s +0.838 63 9. Button McLaren 1m23.409s +1.315 17 10. Raikkonen Lotus 1m25.620s +3.526 17 All Timing Unofficial 
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Sergio Perez on top for Sauber at end of third day of final winter Formula 1 test

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sergio Perez
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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