Jaime Alguersuari was ranked fastest on the third day of this week’s Jerez test – with rain again preventing much meaningful running.

In a repeat of the opening day’s weather, the ten teams present only had an hour to attempt to set competitive times before the heavens opened, with conditions steadily worsening over the course of the session.

Alguersuari had put Toro Rosso on top with a lap of 1:19.919 – the quickest time of the week thus far – minutes before the leadened skies opened, and he was able to stay there for the rest of the day as the track was unable to dry out.

Pedro de la Rosa was second-quickest in the ‘always-there’ Sauber, 0.8s adrift, despite causing a red flag early on when he stopped on-track, while Adrian Sutil had an encouraging debut in the new Force India VJM03 and took third-quickest.

Felipe Massa returned to the Ferrari cockpit today and was fourth-fastest, followed by Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Vitaly Petrov (Renault).

Nico Rosberg, Rubens Barrichello and Lewis Hamilton were placed seventh through ninth for Mercedes, Williams and McLaren respectively.

Barrichello caused one of the day’s few red flags when he slid into the gravel during the morning’s running.

Virgin Racing did not manage to run until the final few hours as they worked to change their wing mounting design following Timo Glock’s problem yesterday.

By the time Lucas di Grassi hit the track in the VR-01, conditions were far too bad for him to set remotely competitive times.

Friday’s testing times:

1. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:19.919 (76 laps)
2. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber Ferrari 1:20.736 (58)
3. Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 1:21.428 (48)
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.603 (72)
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 1:21.783 (59)
6. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:22.000 (68)
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:22.820 (53)
8. Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 1:23.217 (12)
9. Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 1:23.985 (68)
10. Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing Cosworth 1:37.107 (8)

[Image via ITV-F1]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.