Hamilton fastest in Barccelona

Lewis Hamilton sets the pace in the penultimate day of Formula One testing in Barcelona.

BARCELONA, SPAIN (FEBRUARY 28, 2015) (FOM) – Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton wrapped up his pre-season testing with another fastest lap for Mercedes on Saturday.

The Briton, still feeling the lingering effects of a bug that laid him low in last week’s second test, produced a best time of one minute 23.022 seconds on the soft tyres at the Circuit de Catalunya.

That was 0.240 of a second quicker than Felipe Massa in the Williams, although the Brazilian set his lap on faster supersoft tyres, but still slower than Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg’s 1.22.792 on Friday (February 27).

Hamilton will make his next appearance in the car in Friday practice for the March 15 Melbourne season-opener, a race he failed to finish

Hamilton managed 76 laps, less than anyone apart from McLaren stand-in Kevin Magnussen who did only 39 for the misfiring Honda-powered team and was halted by an oil leak.

“It wasn’t the greatest day. I think today it was a lot different from Thursday,” Hamilton told reporters.

“The track was much better on Thursday and the was feeling great and then it came it to today and the track was feeling pretty poor and the grip was quite poor but I think everyone was in the same boat,” he added

Brazilian Felipe Massa of Williams managed the second fastest time with 1:23.262, narrowly ahead of Ferrari’s Finn driver Kimi Raikkonen who came in less than two tenths of a second behind.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr put his Toro Rosso team fourth with Frenchman Romain Grosjean driving his Lotus to fifth and Sauber’s Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson completing the top six,

Following the debut of Force India’s new car on Friday (February 27), German Nico Hulkenberg put it through it’s paces for a further 158 laps on Saturday, recording the seventh fastest time at 1:24.939.

Unofficial Saturday testing times from Barcelona:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes, 1m 23.022s, 76 laps

2. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams, 1m 23.262s, 102 laps

3. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari, 1m 25.276s, 136 laps

4. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso, 1m 24.191s, 132 laps

5. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus, 1m 24.200s, 116 laps

6. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber, 1m 24.477s, 123 laps

7. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India, 1m 24.939s, 158 laps

8. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren, 1m 25.225s, 39 laps

9. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull, 1m 25.742s, 128 laps