Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap of the Barcelona test on Saturday, lapping the track in 1m20.558s, an impressive time given the results so far this winter. However the speed does not mean that the Mercedes team can sustain such pace over race stints, so one still needs to be careful about creating theories about who will be where when the new season kicks off in Melbourne in a fortnight. The track was dry on Saturday after two days which were largely spoiled by rain and even Hamilton admitted that “we definitely haven’t seen the full potential of our competitors yet, so it’s difficult to predict where we might be”. Hamilton’s best, which was the best of 117 laps, was sixth-tenths ahead of Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, which recorded a 1m21.266s, during his 94 laps of running, which also included losing a wheel at one point. Adrian Sutil was third fastest for Force India, completing 109 laps, with a best of 1m21.627s. The two Williams drivers both ran fast laps with Pastor Maldonado setting a 1m22.305s and Valtteri Bottas a 1m22.468s, after 31 and 34 laps respectively, while Esteban Gutierrez was sixth quickest for the day with a 1m22.553s after 99 laps. Red Bull Racing continued to hold its cards close to its chest, with Mark Webber completing 59 laps, with a best of 1m22.658s, while Sergio Perez (McLaren) was next up with a 1m22.694s, after 101 laps of running. Jean-Eric Vergne was ninth overall with a best of 1m23.223s after 114 laps, while Lotus drivers Romain Grosjean and David Valesecchi shared the work for the Enstone team after Kimi Raikkonen withdrew with an upset stomach. Grosjean did 46 laps and set a best of 1m23.223s, while Valsecchi lapped in 1m23.448s after just 16 laps.
Jules Bianchi had his first runs with Marussia, completing 74 laps with a best of 1m24.028s, while Giedo Van der Garde gave Caterham a little more hope with a lap of 1m24.235s, after 126 laps of running.
The 12th and final day of running will be tomorrow Sunday before the cars are packed up and sent off to Australia.