BARCELONA, March 4, 2012 (AFP) - Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving a Lotus, clocked the best time of the week on the final day of pre-season Formula One testing at Montmelo on Sunday.
The Finn, who has returned to the sport after a spell in the World Rally Championship, timed 1min 22.030sec after completing 121 laps.
In sharp contrast, defending world champion Sebastian Vettel was the slowest on the day with a time of 1:23.608 in his Red Bull after his team managed just 23 laps.
"We would have liked more time on the track, but we had a problem in the morning," said Vettel
"I went on the circuit and broke the front wing, lost time and then, just before the interval, we had a problem with the gearbox."
Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who was eighth fastest on Sunday, believes the testing period has demonstrated that there will be little to choose between the teams this season.
"The car felt good from the very beginning, and we have managed to improve it over the test days, so I think we can say that we are very well prepared," said the Mercedes driver.
"Again, what this means compared to our competitors is something I want only to go into after some races, as we all know that testing does not show everything. What we can say though is that the field is tighter than it has been, so we are looking forward to an exciting season."
The 2012 Formula One season gets underway in Melbourne on March 18.
More information soon. below the best times for the day:
|1.||Kimi Raikkonen||Lotus E20||1:22.030||121|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari F2012||1:22.250||115|
|3.||Bruno Senna||Williams FW34||1:22.296||53|
|4.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India VJM05||1:22.312||101|
|5.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber C31||1:22.386||72|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren MP4-27||1:22.430||115|
|7.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham CT01||1:22.795||101|
|8.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes W03||1:22.939||100|
|9.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams FW34||1:23.347||48|
|10.||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso STR7||1:23.393||100|
|11.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull RB8||1:23.608||2|