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Raikkonen fastest as testing ends

Kimi Raikkonen quickest for Lotus to end pre-season testing on a high in Barcelona
Kimi Raikkonen ensured that a troubled pre-season testing programme for Lotus ended on a high by setting the fastest time of the week on the final day of running at Catalunya.

Having been forced to miss last week's test after a chassis issue was found on the E20, the Enstone-based team returned in fine style during the final session, topping the time on three of the four days at the Spanish circuit.

Raikkonen's time of 1min 22.030secs came during a late morning run and then remained unbeaten through the afternoon as teams switched focus to longer race simulation work. Raikkonen ended the day with 121 laps to his name – more than anyone else.

Despite admissions that all was not well, backed up by the fact that all media interviews with it's drivers were cancelled on Saturday, Ferrari ended the day with the second fastest time thanks to Fernando Alonso, who set a time two-tenths of a second down on Raikkonen's benchmark prior to lunch before seeing his race simulation work in the afternoon hit by a number of red flags.

Bruno Senna was third quickest for Williams as he ran during the morning session with Nico Hulkenberg for Force India and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi close behind. Kobayashi was one of the drivers to bring out the red flag in the afternoon when the engine failed on his car around 90 minutes from the scheduled finish.

Lewis Hamilton was sixth quickest, the McLaren showing encouraging pace during a long run in the afternoon, while Vitaly Petrov and Michael Schumacher rounded out the top eight.

Pastor Maldonado was ninth having only run during the afternoon, while the times were rounded out by Daniel Ricciardo and defending champion Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel's day at the wheel of the revised RB8 turned out to be nothing short of a nightmare, with a trip off track damaging the nose of the car in the morning before a gearbox issue sidelined him for much of the day. In total, the German managed just 23 laps all day.



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