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Barrichello keeps Brawn on top!
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#1
The final day of the group test at Circuit de Catalunya was briefly delayed this morning due to the foggy conditions. The ten runners were however soon out on the 4.655km Spanish Grand Prix circuit, and once again it was a Brawn Mercedes that ended the day at the top of the timesheets.

Rubens Barrichello took over testing duties of the new BGP001 today from Jenson Button, the Brazilian veteran proving every bit as effective as his British team-mate. Barrichello completed 110 laps, his best time of 1:18.926s coming on his 102nd tour.

Barrichello’s time eclipses Button’s Wednesday best by just over two-tenths of a second and while undoubtedly the time was recorded on a low fuel run, it underlines the raw pace of the new challenger.

Nico Rosberg upped the pace for in his Williams Toyota, setting the second fastest time of the day eight-tenths off the ultimate pace. The time shows a big improvement with the FW31, lapping three-tenths clear of the similarly powered TF109 of Timo Glock and some 1.6 seconds quicker than yesterday.

Sebastian Vettel was back behind the wheel of the Red Bull Renault to wrap up the Milton Keynes-based team’s pre-season test programme and set the fourth fastest time ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Renault. Alonso was however restricted to just 64 laps today as the R29 suffered an engine failure mid-afternoon bringing out the red flags due to oil being laid down from the pit lane to turn five.

Felipe Massa lapped half a second of his Wednesday best in the Ferrari F60, ending the day sixth fastest ahead of Robert Kubica in the BMW Sauber.

McLaren has struggled for pace all week in Barcelona, as they did last week at Jerez. The team will be mildly encouraged by the pace today however as it lifts them from the bottom end of the timesheets to eighth, albeit almost two seconds off Barrichello’s best time.

Sebastien Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais shared the new Toro Rosso Ferrari with the former putting in 62 laps and setting the ninth fastest time and the latter just 27 laps and the 11th best time. Giancarlo Fisichella split the STR duo in tenth in the new Force India Mercedes.

While this is the end of the Barcelona group test, Brawn Mercedes, McLaren Mercedes, Renault and Williams Toyota now travel to Jerez to start another test programme commencing Sunday morning.

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