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LIVE COMMENTARY: BARCELONA THIRD PRE-SEASON TEST - TEST DAY FOUR
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Test day four
By Pablo Elizalde and Matt Beer
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
07:55 Good morning and welcome to AUTOSPORT's live coverage of the final day of testing of the 2012 pre-season

07:56 Yes, the final day of testing before the start of the season

07:56 In less than two weeks, the Australian Grand Prix will have started already

07:57 Did you mention it's the final day of testing?

07:57 Okay, then

07:57 Quite a bit of fog on the way to the track this morning - but no traffic jam at least

07:57 Track temperature is already 11.7 degrees, which is hotter than at any other time since Thursday (at 8.55 anyway)

07:58 Today's driver line-up is Vettel, Alonso, Schumacher, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Kobayashi, Ricciardo, Petrov and Senna/Maldonado sharing the Williams

07:59 HRT will not be in action today, as we found out yesterday

HRT fails to make Sunday with new car

07:59 No Marussia either, but then we knew all about that already

08:00 Green flag at 9am exactly

08:00 The first engine is fired up in the pitlane

08:00 And out goes Ricciardo for what will almost certainly be his installation lap

08:01 @MyCaterhamF1: Green light and Vitaly's first out on track for the installation lap. New seat fitted so he'll be more comfortable than Thursday!

08:01 Vettel heads out too

08:02 There's talk of Red Bull running a new rear wing today, and interestingly Vettel's car features a periscope-style sensor on that very part of the car

08:03 Hulkenberg, Kobayashi and Petrov also take to the track, each one of them pitting at the end of the lap

08:04 As Vettel pits the Red Bull crew is very protective of the rear of the car

08:04 Two mechanics with the space-blanket-stye cover pounce on the rear wing...

08:05 While two umbrella-whielding mechanics shield the area just in front of the rear wheels on either side

08:05 Yes, umbrellas

08:05 And no, it's not raining

08:06 That periscope, incidentally, is attached vertically to the left hand side end plate

08:07 Past comes a Williams and it's Bruno Senna at the wheel

08:07 Hamilton in too

08:08 Everyone's done an installtion now, bar Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, both out on track now

08:08 Constant speed run by Raikkonen across the finish line. The Lotus driver is on medium tyres

08:08 Here you go...

@NobleF1: How many umbrellas does it take to hide a Red Bull exhaust? http://t.co/yc3DNZ2d

08:09 After his steering issues yesterday, which limited him to 43 laps, Raikkonen will be keen to get some serious running today

08:09 Alonso's been out for a second lap. The stand opposite Ferrari's pit already more full than at this time 24 hours ago

08:10 Double installation lap for the Spaniard, reports Ferrari

08:11 Now everybody has completed an installation lap at least and they are all back in the pits

08:12 Alonso fans will be delighted to know that despite nobody having completed a flying lap, the Spaniard has the fastest three sector times of the day so far

08:12 Maybe he will be even allowed to speak to the media today

08:13 For those of you that weren't following proceedings yesterday, Ferrari banned its drivers from speaking to the press for the remainder of the test so they don't lose focus

08:14 Funnily Alonso spoke to Spanish television during the football match he attended later on, but we suppose he didn't speak about his car

08:14 Moving on..

08:14 Another constant speed run for Raikkonen

08:15 Incidentally, the Raikkonen press conference was so rammed last night, Lotus may wish it had brought its race hospitality unit here...

08:15 Rather than its rather smaller test unit everybody had brought to Barcelona

08:15 Raikkonen pits as Alonso heads out

08:16 Regarding the team units, some of them wouldn't look out of place in the BTCC, but Jamie O'Leary wants to point out we LOVE the BTCC

08:17 Vettel heads out

08:17 As Alonso heads in. No laptimes set yet

08:18 Hamilton takes to the track

08:19 Here's another picture of how paranoid Red Bull is about its rear wing

08:19 You'd think they are hiding a celebrity in there

08:19 Track temperature only 12.2 C, so don't expect to see too much serious running in this opening hour

08:21 In case you missed yesterday's action, here's a recap:

Perez on top at end of day three

08:22 Kobayashi and Hulkenberg are out on track at the moment, but no laptimes yet

08:23 Ta-chan! Hulkenberg goes over the line at flat-chat. This, we would expect, will be the irst flying lap of the day

08:24 Kobayashi, in fact, snuck out before Hulkenberg. He laps in 1m25.299s and that's the pace-setter for now

08:24 So now you know..

@Lotus_F1Team: In case you're wondering the contraption sticking out the side of the #E20 is measuring equipment. Certainly not an aerodynamic feature! #F1

08:26 Second lap for Kobayashi and he improves his time by 0.3s to 1m24.922s. He's on medium Pirellis

08:26 Hulkenberg posts a 1m26.701s to move into second as Ricciardo heads out

08:26 Mediums for the Australian

08:26 Slow lap for Kobayashi. Five seconds off his own pace. He's backed off somewhere

08:28 Let us say we do appreciate the spam sent to our Live email address. Who doesn't need "Fashionable jeans for all occasions......."

08:28 Ricciardo goes P3 on his first lap on mediums: 1m29.199s.

08:28 On mediums, the Sauber (in Perez's hands) lapped almost a second faster at the start of a stint

08:28 @InsideFerrari: Today's programme includes set-up and tyre testing on short and long runs

08:29 Hulkenberg pits

08:29 As Ricciardo goes quickest with a 1m24.727s

08:31 Senna completes his first timed lap of the day to move into fourth: 1m28.599s

08:31 No umbrella can stop us from looking at the Red Bull rear wing

08:32 It's hard to tell if Senna's tyres are hard or unmarked as he speeds by

08:32 But he has improved his laptime to a 1m26s

08:33 In just five laps of this run, Kobayashi has lost over a second's worth of pace on those mediums. Or maybe he's just driving slower

08:33 Remember though, it's highly unlikely these track conditions will be repeated in a race situation any time soon

08:34 Kobayashi pits as Senna improves to 1m25.601s that keeps him fourth

08:34 Senna's tyres are the unmarked kind

08:35 In case you missed it earlier this week, here's the explanation for the unmarked tyres:

Each team has been given two 'extra' sets of them for this test. The tyres are basically Pirelli's contingency plan if its facility in Turkey should be struck by a disaster and be unable to make tyres for a race.

They have come from an unidentified facility, and the test here is simply to make sure that they perform exactly the same as the normal tyres. They are identical in compound and structure to the normal tyres.

08:36 Ricciardo pits... and narrowly avoids having his nose taken off by the exiting Vettel as he swings out of his pit area to allow the mechanics to push him back in

08:37 Do you want more pictures of Red Bull's umbrella? Of course you do

08:38 Alonso is back in the pits after another installation lap

08:39 Hamilton heads out

08:41 Hulkenberg joins the action too in the Force India

08:42 Hamilton sets his first time of the day: 1m27.864s

08:43 And his second time of the day moves him to the top of the times

08:43 A 1m24.105s for the McLaren driver

08:44 No worries about speed for Alonso, as he does another constant speed run. He's on mediums. Hamilton and Hulkenberg are running hards

08:44 Alonso's best of the day is only a 1m37.524, but it did include that constant speed run

08:45 Hulkenberg ups his pace on the hards to 1m25.293s, but stays P4

08:45 As Raikkonen heads out on mediums

08:46 Alonso posts his first proper laptime of the day to move up to fourth. Schumacher has also joined the timesheets with a 1m26.119s

08:47 Petrov, Raikkonen and Vettel are yet to set a time

08:47 Schumacher is on soft tyres

08:47 Hamilton ups his pace too after a slow lap to a 1m24.082 and increases his gap at the top

08:48 Raikkonen gets his name in the timesheet with a 1m24.934s

08:49 The Iceman moves to second with a 1m24.416s

08:49 Petrov, yet to set a time in the Caterham, is out on track now

08:50 Hulkenberg pits as Vettel prepares to go out. No umbrellas on the car yet

08:50 Senna sets the pace in 1m23.645 on those unmarked tyres

08:51 @Lotus_F1Team: Now that the morning checks are done, the plan for Kimi is setup work followed by a race simulation this afternoon

08:52 You can expected a few race simulations this afternoon since this is the last test before, you know, a race

08:52 Pedro de la Rosa is really hoping HRT can run tomorrow

De la Rosa pins hopes on filming day

08:53 Petrov is P9 after his first flyer: 5.4s of the pace

08:53 Just Vettel left to do a flying lap, as the German pits again

08:54 And yet another shot of the Red Bull rear wing. Because we can

08:55 New personal best for Petrov, who is still ninth, running softs

08:55 Alonso is out on softs, Senna unmarked, Kobayashi mediums, Raikkonen mediums

08:56 But Alonso, Senna and Raikkonen have pitted

08:57 Petrov and Kobayashi are alone on track

08:58 We were told yesterday that if HRT manages to run tomorrow, we'll see pictures of the car. If they don't run, we'll have to wait until Australia

08:58 Kobayashi pits and leaves the track to Petrov

08:59 Kobayashi is the man with the longest run of the day so far. Seven laps on mediums, a run that ended about 20 minutes ago.

09:00 Ricciardo, Alonso and Hamilton heading out

09:01 Ricciardo is on the mediums, and Hamilton either on hards or those unmarked tyres we like so much

09:01 Alonso is on softs

09:02 Lots of questions about any visual differences on the Mercedes, so here's a picture from a moment ago. Tell us what you see..

09:02 Alonso posts his best speed trap figure of the day so far

09:02 The speed trap here is right on the finish line - so it gives us a good indication of the speeds of the cars coming out of the final corner and on to the start-finish straight

09:02 As Alonso goes top

09:03 1m22.733s on the soft tyres

09:03 Purple in all sectors

09:03 He was 6 km/h slower across the speed trap on his quickest lap

09:04 Hamilton is second now, over half a second off the Spaniard

09:04 Alonso's next lap is four tenths down as the softs are clearly past their best

09:04 Senna heads out as Kobayashi pits

09:05 Hamilton now quickest man on the speed trap - 291.1 km/h

09:06 Alonso back in the pits, brief practice stop, exit and pulled back into garage

09:06 Senna is running on the medium tyres

09:07 Hamilton sets a personal best, but he is still around half a second behind Alonso. Kobayashi has pitted

09:07 Senna goes back to the top of the times on medium tyres: 1m22.663s.

09:08 Perez's 1m22.094s from yesterday remains the best time of the week, and of the year

09:09 Kobayashi pits on mediums, as Senna completes a another lap

09:10 Still no flying laps from Vettel. Much the same programme as Webber ran yesterday, by the looks of it. Except with more umbrellas, that is

09:12 A slow 1m30.058s for Schumacher

09:12 Just four laps on those medium Pirellis and Senna's already lost two seconds worth of pace. We'll keep a close eye to see if that continues

09:14 Or maybe not, as he has pitted

09:15 Tyre watch (because you love it): Schumacher and Petrov on softs (Schumacher pits). Hamilton pits on the hards. Raikkonen on mediums

09:16 Strong lap from Raikkonen on the mediums. 1m23.499s puts him fourth

09:16 As Vettel leaves the pits again

09:16 Will this finally be his first flying lap or will he return to the pits? How many umbrellas will Red Bull use this time? Stay tuned to find out

09:18 And speaking of Vettel, Mark Webber this he will be much better this year:

Webber will start 2012 'much stronger'

09:18 Vettel managed a personal best on the first sector before heading back into the pits without posting a laptime

09:19 This is what Red Bull is running on its rear wing today

09:20 That last run by Hamilton means he's now completed the most laps of anyone today: 22. Kobayashi on 21, Senna on 19

09:21 Petrov pits, and really gives the electronics a workout as he stops and starts in the pitlane

09:21 Alonso heads out

09:22 Fastest top speed for Alonso in sectors 1 and 2 today

09:22 Alonso goes fastest on the hard, or are they unmarked, tyres? Hard to tell with the way the sunshine is coming across. A 1m22.477s nonetheless

09:23 Schumacher out again on softs

09:23 We will try to spot Alonso's tyres next time by

09:24 That's unmarked tyres for Alonso

09:25 Who decides to pit

09:26 Twenty-one laps for the Spaniard so far, who is less than two tenths of a second ahead of Senna

09:26 Ricciardo, on mediums, sets his best time of the day: 1m24.107s for P5

09:26 And Schumacher does likewise: 1m25.428s. P8.

Interestingly those softs seem to be faster on the second flying lap of a stint on the Mercedes

09:27 Of course, he could have just been winding it up last time round

09:28 Banner watch!

'F1 fans in Greece' are opposite us, A Union Jack or two further down, and then plenty of Alonso fans

09:28 'Oviedo Pone Piloto, Maranello Pone Machina' we believe one of the banner says

09:29 And then "La something, something ALONSO!!!"

09:29 Hulkenberg back out and immediately hauls himself up to P3 in the Force India. 1m23.005s

09:29 Hamilton out on unmarked tyres

09:31 Hulkenberg's time came on mediums

09:32 Ricciardo pits. What look like hand-held hoovers (the kind with long attachments) are fitted to cool the brake ducts

09:33 Only Petrov and Hamilton are out of track after Hulkenberg pitted

09:33 Hamilton is still the man with the most laps: 25

09:34 Personal best for Petrov today: 1m25.124s

09:35 In another twist for the Austin GP saga, Tavo Hellmund in in a legal dispute with the promoters:

Tavo Hellmund in legal dispute with Austin Grand Prix

09:35 Panagiotis Seitanidis from MS Free website in Greece, one of our fellow journalists here in the media centre says the 'F1 fans from Greece' banner is a group of 20 who have come over to follow their passion

09:36 Now, back to McLaren... They had a hydraulics problem yesterday morning that cost Jenson Button a couple of hours. Then lost their long run window when it rained.

So expect Hamilton to have to take on some of the work Button should have done on Saturday. That should mean a lot of laps for the 2008 world champion today

09:36 Petrov improves to a 1m24.966s

09:37 As Senna returns to the track

09:37 Big lock-up from the Brazilian at Turn 1 as he starts a flying lap

09:38 Alonso and Schumacher head out just in time to get in Hamilton's way

09:38 Senna is on soft tyres

09:39 Petrov, on mediums, pits

09:39 Hards for Schumacher, softs for Alonso

09:40 Hamilton makes a practice pitstop and then cuts the engine

09:40 As Raikkonen leaves the pits for another run

09:41 Personal best for Schumacher on the hards. 1m23.310 moves him up from P9 to P5

09:42 Raikkonen knocks Schumacher down a spot. A 1m22.723s lap on softs moves him to P3

09:43 Now the Finn's knocked back now as Hulkenberg goes P2 on his first flying lap on mediums. 1m22.649s

09:44 The fastest four men so far today are on track. Schumacher too

09:44 Alonso, on the softs, is lapping about a second off what he was doing earlier, suggesting perhaps he's running about 20kg more fuel on this run

09:44 Alonso and Senna pit

09:45 Kobayashi back out

09:47 Hulkenberg pits. Schumacher still pounding around on hards

09:47 Six laps into his current stint now for the Mercedes driver. Kobayashi also out running on mediums

09:48 Yay, it's press room tour time!

09:49 We forgot to mention there was one about an hour ago too. The current one seems to feature a lot of McLaren fans

09:49 Back on track, Raikkonen pits while Kobayashi sets his best lap of the day: 1m24.566s on the mediums

09:51 Everyone except Vettel has gone past the 20-lap mark already

09:51 Schumacher into the pits now. Alonso replaces him on track

09:52 Alonso is on the supersofts

09:52 This will be interesting

09:53 A 1m22.250s and Alonso improves his pace-setting mark

09:53 AUTOSPORT technical correspondent Gary Anderson reckons the peak performance of the F2012 is fine, but that the window in which it can achieve it is very narrow. Hence if nothing changes, we can expect some great qualifying performances followed by falling back in the races as the car chews its rear tyres up at the end

09:54 Perez's time from yesterday remains the quickest lap of the week though

09:54 As Sauber team-mate Kobayashi completes a constant-speed run

09:55 Alonso pits after just one flyer

09:56 Kobayashi now pits

09:56 @MyCaterhamF1: Up to run 5 of the day. Vitaly's in the car, ready to head out again while changes are made to the front torsion bar & front anti-roll bar

09:57 New PB for Ricciardo, he's done just the one lap on the mediums on this stint. 1m23.868 puts him P7

10:00 Opening up the FORIX home page (free to all AUTOSPORT magazine and AUTSPORT plus subscribers) reveals birthdays for ex-F1 racers: Jos Verstappen (40 today)

10:00 Also, Nino Vaccarella (79)

10:00 While Jim Clark would have been 76 today

10:01 Senna climbs to P2 with a PB of 1m22.296s

10:01 The Brazilian is running softs

10:02 Hamilton and Hulkenberg both now on track on hards

10:02 We have gone past the two-hour mark and still no laptime for Vettel, who is on six laps

10:04 How do you like these sensors on the Lotus?

10:05 That opening lap for Hamilton was some seven seconds off his best. That McLaren is carrying a lot of fuel by the looks of it

10:07 Four drivers now over the 30-lap mark

10:08 Hulkenberg pits and it's Alonso and Petrov alone on track

10:09 The Russian sets his best time of the day: 1m24.619s. He stays in ninth place though

10:10 He's running Pirelli's medium tyres

10:11 On the third lap of his run, Alonso is in the 1m25s, having posted a 1m22.2 and a 1m23.2 before that

10:12 Alonso pits after a 1m34s

10:13 Kobayashi and Petrov are on track

10:15 1m26s for the Japanese, 1m28s for the Russian. Not much excitement on track at the moment

10:15 Kobayashi is on mediums

10:16 We haven't talked about food today yet, so you will be pleased to know that we are having Oreos, double filling

10:16 Hamilton is back out too with the unmarked Pirelli rubber

10:18 Best lap so far for the 2008 world champion. 1m22.813 smoves him up to P5, ahead of Schumacher

10:21 Hamilton and Kobayashi have been the busiest men today, both on 37 laps so far. Vettel still on six without having set a timed lap

10:21 Constant speed run for Kobayashi

10:21 As Ricciardo,on mediums, improves his best time to 1m23.393s

10:22 Kobayashi heads back to the pits

10:23 Raikkonen's best lap yet. 1m22.652s is on softs. P4 he stays

10:23 Ricciardo is running softs too

10:25 Senna back out on hards

10:26 Ricciardo pits. Big old patch of flo-viz on the top side of the floor just behind the exhaust area

10:27 Plenty of questions about what is going on with Red Bull, but as you can imagine by the huge umbrellas covering their car, they haven't said much about the situation

10:28 It's never a great a sign not to have set a timed lap 2.5 hours after the start, is it? Unless your car is so far you don't need to run anymore..

10:29 On track, Alonso, Senna, Raikkonen and Schumacher are running

10:32 @OfficialSF1Team: #Kamui and #C31 back in the garage. Set-up work is ticked off the list for this morning. #Sauber F1 Team preparing next part of programme

10:33 Very interesting angle on the Red Bull front wing here. You may be tempted to think it's broken

10:34 But no, we are not saying it is... It just looks extreme

10:34 Hamilton replaced Raikkonen on track, joining Alonso, Senna and Schumacher

10:35 Alonso is on the fourth lap of his run. Two 1m23s followed by a 1m36s

10:36 For the record, all appears to be correctly attached on the Red Bull front wing

10:36 Alonso has pitted

10:37 Seven laps so far for Schumacher in this run, one of the longest of the day so far. The German is lapping in the 1m25s

10:38 Schumacher pits after a seven-lap run averaging 1m25.491s

10:39 Here's the Red Bull front wing from another angle

10:40 Ricciardo jumps onto the track again

10:42 In breaking news, Vettel has left the pits

10:43 Hamilton does his best lap of the day in 1m22.737s as Raikkonen post the fastest S1 time of the day

10:43 Hulkenberg pits

10:44 Raikkonen jumps ahead of Hulkenberg with a 1m22.301s

10:44 Vettel finally does a flying lap: a 1m23.608 puts him P8

10:45 Petrov leaves the pits for another run

10:45 The new HRT may not be running today, but the garage seems to be ready waiting for the car

10:46 Raikkonen pits. Just a one-lap run for the Finn

10:46 Ricciardo has yet more flo-viz on the same part of his car now

10:46 A 1m38.850s for Vettel now

10:48 Ricciardo is running hard tyres. Meanwhile, Petrov has set his best time of the day at 1m24.093, but he is still in ninth, only ahead of Kobayashi

10:49 Senna heads out as Vettel post a 1m23.992s on his 11th lap of the day

10:50 For comparison's sake, here's another photo of Vettel's front wing from earlier today. No radical angle here

10:50 Senna is running on medium tyres

10:51 Vettel returns to the pits. No umbrellas this time

10:52 The world champion completed a six-lap run averaging 1m26.971s

10:52 Track temperature is now up to 27.2 C

10:53 Alonso decides that's good enough, and jumps onto it

10:53 Senna in the 1m28s that time round

10:54 The two fastest men so far are alone on track right now

10:55 Now it's three fastest men, as Raikkonen has left the pits

10:57 Apologies for not answering your questions today. We are one man down and there is only so much we can do at the moment. We try to just comment on the stuff most people are asking about

10:57 Alonso is on hards, Raikkonen on softs

10:58 A 1m22.359s for Raikkonen, very close to his best time of the day

10:58 The battle for most laps so far is close. Senna leads on 47, Hamilton 45, Alonso 44. Vettel brings up the rear with just 13

10:59 Both Alonso and Raikkonen pit

10:59 But Hamilton joins, and Senna stays on

11:00 Senna is lapping in the 1m29s

11:01 We hit 12pm and we enter the final hour before the lunch break. Still no red flags today, as the cars are running with no problems. Or at least with no problems that make them stop on track

11:02 Personal best for Hamilton: a 1m22.430s that put him less than two tenths off Alonso

11:02 The Briton was running softs

11:03 Hulkenberg is out on mediums

11:03 As we are joined by what we believe is the third media centre tour of the day

11:04 Now we are typing this message so we look busy and the tourists are all very impressed by our professionalism

11:05 Hulkenberg posts his fastest lap of the day: 1m22.484s, good enough for fifth

11:05 Kobayashi has improved too, to a 1m23.200s. P6 for the Japanese, who jumped four cars from the bottom of the times

11:07 Senna is on the 10th lap of the run. That's the longest stint by anyone so far today

11:08 Caterham reserve driver Giedo van der Garde walks past AUTOSPORT's LIVE desk. Hello, there

11:09 Another man likely to fight van der Garde for the GP2 title this year, Marcus Ericsson, is also in the press room

11:09 Doing some stuff for Swedish TV, we suspect, as he's hanging around with his mentor Eje Elgh - himself a front runner in the old European F2 championship in the late 1970s

11:10 Also spotted here over the past few days; Macau GP winner Daniel Juncadella. Plus former F1 world champion Keke Rosberg and grand prix winner Jacques Laffite

11:10 Senna stops after a 10-lap run averaging 1m29.840s

11:11 Petrov pits too as Ricciardo has joined the track

11:11 Schumacher heads out too

11:12 And Alonso also

11:12 Kobayashi on softs, Ricciardo still out on the mediums

11:13 Vettel leaves the pits for another run on mediums

11:14 Five drivers out on track right now, including Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg

11:15 Slow speed run for Alonso over the line

11:15 Hulkenberg's out on softs. Just a tenth shy of his best lap that time

11:16 @WilliamsF1Team: Bruno is out the car, his morning programme completed without issue. Team now prepping car for Pastor this afternoon http://t.co/KDoqYHz7

11:17 Hulkenberg and Vettel pit

11:18 The red bull has lots of flo-viz on the trailing edges of the front wing... and in particular on the 'tea tray' section just behind the nose. Clearly some analysis of front wing layouts being done now

11:19 Alonso hits the 50-lap marker. That's still less than Hamilton and Senna (53 each) have managed

11:20 Personal best for Kobayashi in S1 as Alonso pits

11:21 The Japanese driver jumps up to fourth place with a 1m22.386s

11:23 Kobayashi has pitted after just one timed lap

11:24 Hamilton, Schumacher, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo out on track

11:24 Ricciardo is on mediums, Kobayashi was on supersofts before he pitted, Schumacher on softs

11:25 Hamilton is on softs, and it's a five-lap run according to his pitboard

11:26 The press room tours are coming thick and fast today

11:26 Fastest first sector of all for Hulkenberg, who's on his first flyer of this stint

11:27 Personal best in S2, but somewhat off in S3. It's still the fastest time for him: 1m22.312, good enough for P4

11:27 @Lotus_F1Team: A few setup tweeks for the #E20 down in the @Lotus_F1Team garage: it's been a good start to the day and we're running on schedule

11:30 Hamilton, Schumacher, Ricciardo and Petrov share the track as we enter the final half hour of the morning session of the final day of pre-season testing

11:32 Petrov jumps up to seventh place with a 1m23.233s

11:32 That leaves Vettel at the bottom of the times

11:32 The Caterham driver is running on supersofts

11:34 It's only Kobayashi out on track now

11:35 Interestingly, the two longest runs of the day; 10 laps for Senna, 11 for Ricciardo, took place at the same time. 2.5s dropoff for Senna, while only one second for Ricciardo

11:35 Kobayashi pits. Just a single lap on supersofts, 0.4s off what he did earlier on

11:36 Track temperature is now 30 degrees C

11:37 Alonso heads out of the pits again

11:39 The Spaniard's first lap is around a second off his best

11:40 A 1m23.748s for Alonso, the only man on track at the moment with 20 minutes of the morning session left

11:42 Alonso pits and leaves the track empty. He was running on mediums (unlike in the picture, where he was running supersofts)

11:42 All quiet now for the first time in a while

11:44 So far Hamilton has been the busiest man with 60 laps, but he's down in sixth place. Alonso follows on 55 laps, with Senna and Ricciardo on 53 and Schumacher on 48. Vettel is still at the bottom of the laps list with just 15 rounds completed

11:44 Alonso back on track again

11:46 Petrov heads out too for the final run of the morning

11:46 Fifteen minutes until food time

11:47 Schumacher leaves the pits

11:47 Quick lap for Alonso - 1m22.721s - although around half a second off his best so far today

11:49 Supersofts for Petrov, who improves to a 1m22.795s

11:49 While Schumacher improves too, to 1m22.939s, on softs.

11:49 Alonso, on mediums, pits

11:50 Ten minutes left, two drivers on track: Schumacher and Petrov

11:51 @clubforce: An early lunch for us in Barcelona as we continue with our race weekend simulations. The race distance with Nico is coming up from 14:00.

11:52 Petrov pits, but Raikkonen joins for a final run

11:53 It's the Raikkonen and Schumacher on track. Two former championship rivals, side by side, on a frantic battle to...

11:53 Sorry, we got carried away there

11:54 Kobayashi has joined them

11:54 Raikkonen is on softs, as the track temperature reaches 32.8 C. Higher than it's been all day, as expected, perhaps

11:54 Raikkonen goes top!

11:56 A 1m22.030s for the Lotus driver, over two tenths of a second quicker than Alonso. It's the fastest time we have seen in all the pre-season at Barcelona

11:56 For those wondering why all the quick times are coming with the softs, rather than the supersoft - Paul Hembery explained to @Noblef1 this morning that this track is not good for supersofts

11:57 It's too abrasive - supersoft excels on low grip surfaces

11:57 Raikkonen returns to the pits after having posted the fastest time of he day, also spoiling the report we were preparing

11:57 Schumacher out there on the softs

11:57 Alonso comes down pitlane, weaving a lot as he straightens up into start/finish straight of entry

11:58 And he has gone through the pits again

11:58 It would make sense for a lot of teams to start proper race simulation work this afternoon

11:58 Just two minutes left. Just Schumacher and Kobayashi on track

11:58 Nope. That's Schumacher back in the pits

11:59 Alonso is doing practice starts

11:59 Alonso coming into pits again, driving the car like he would be going to a grid

12:00 Chequered flag signals the end of the morning session

12:00 Kobayashi is the first man to take it as he completes a 1m28.603s

12:01 Just waiting for Alonso now to come around - only other man out on track

12:01 And he dives into the pitlane to put an end to the morning action

12:02 So it's Raikkonen on top of the times with the fastest time set at Barcelona so far this year. Alonso second fastest for Ferrari, with Senna in third. Sebastian Vettel at the the bottom in the Red Bull after just 15 laps

12:03 We will be back in about an hour for the final three hours of testing. See you then!

12:58 So, AUTOSPORT Live testing coverage readers, we're about to reach the end of the road.

12:58 Anything the teams don't tick off on their jobs list in the next three hours will have to wait for Melbourne or the simulator.

12:59 It's one last chance to figure out a set-up intricacy, or post a headline-grabbing lap time before the 2012 Formula 1 season commences.

13:00 Let's be realistic: we're probably in for an afternoon of long runs that are going to take some figuring out, rather than a furiously exciting dash for glory at the head of the order. But we'll try and make it seem as fascinating as possible.

13:01 Back to green and it's Hulkenberg who kicks the afternoon off.

13:02 If you've had a non-F1 related Sunday morning and need to catch-up, here's the full recap of events from earlier today:

Raikkonen tops final morning in Spain

13:03 No one else has taken to the track just yet.

13:04 The Force India comes straight back in. It's running on medium tyres.

13:07 The Force India went back out again, and is followed by Schumacher's Mercedes, and Pastor Maldonado, who has taken the Williams over from Senna.

13:07 Running on hard tyres, Maldonado starts off with a 1m25.434s, slowest so far unsurprisingly.

13:08 Nothing wrong with Senna, by the way, Williams just decided to run two split days this week - giving both its drivers half a day each on Friday as well.

13:08 Benchmark for Maldonado - if he does a comparable programme - is the third place and 1m22.296s that team-mate Senna achieved this morning.

13:10 Maldonado does a new personal best in sector one as he continues round.

13:10 Looks like a hefty Force India for Hulkenberg. The team says it is doing a race simulation this afternoon and its initial hard-tyre stint is seeing mid-1m30s laps so far.

13:11 Raikkonen comes out, having set the morning pace for Lotus.

13:11 Maldonado hasn't improved his overall time yet despite that encouraging sector.

13:12 Schumacher is on soft tyres and starts off with a 1m23.3s lap, just off his best of the day.

13:13 Now the Mercedes is up to 1m24.3s. The team did seem to see a big drop-off in performance on the softs yesterday, but Nico Rosberg was still upbeat at the end of his session:

Rosberg: Mercedes can annoy leaders

13:13 Raikkonen returns to the pits.

13:13 Hamilton brings the McLaren out.

13:15 The track temperature is stabilising at 30.6 degrees.

13:15 Hamilton pits, is held for about 45 seconds, and then exits.

Force India13:16 Hulkenberg's times are now up to mid 1m31s on his long run.

13:16 Raikkonen and his soft tyre shod Lotus are back out.

13:17 We've double checked and Hulkenberg is running medium tyres for this first 'race' stint, not hards.

13:18 Raikkonen shapes up to pass Hulkenberg as they cross the line.

13:18 The Lotus was about half a second quicker than the Force India last time around.

13:19 Schumacher pits after five laps on soft tyres: 1m23.3s, 1m24.3s, 1m25.5s, 1m25.9s and 1m25.6s.

13:19 Petrov sets off in the Caterham.

13:19 Raikkonen has successfully passed Hulkenberg.

13:20 Petrov goes one lap on softs, then pits, but expect him back out soon as Caterham is planning long runs this afternoon.

13:20 As is everyone else, we imagine...

13:22 Hulkenberg makes the first pitstop of his race simulation.

13:22 Ricciardo comes out on medium tyres.

13:23 Petrov goes out and comes back in once again.

13:24 Maldonado reappears for his second run, now with medium tyres on the Williams.

13:24 Hulkenberg stays on mediums for the second stint of his long run.

13:25 Stint one, also on mediums, began with consistent mid 1m30s laps, then saw his pace tail off through a few mid 1m31s into low 1m32s and a 1m33.5s just before he pitted after nine laps.

13:26 The next stint has kicked off with a 1m29.4s.

13:26 No improvement yet from Maldonado, but he is very close to his earlier pace.

13:27 Hamilton gets 'L5' on the McLaren pit board, which will make this a 10-lap stint on soft tyres.

13:27 Alonso heads out.

13:28 Fairly busy on track, with Lotus, Ferrari, Force India, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Williams in action.

13:28 Alonso has come out right behind Raikkonen. The Ferrari is using medium tyres.

13:29 Ricciardo pulls in, does a practice pitstop, then goes into the Toro Rosso garage.

13:30 Maldonado brings the Williams into the pits.

13:31 Alonso gets past Raikkonen into Turn 1.

13:32 Some 2005 and 2007 title battle retro for you there.

13:32 Or perhaps back to 2009, when they were in what are now each other's teams and both struggling in the midfield for a lot of the year.

13:33 Lots of you asking about Vettel and Red Bull via live@autosport.com with just 15 laps on the board for the world champion today. Vettel has recently been speaking to the press in the paddock and we'll bring you news soon.

13:34 Hulkenberg is now onto lap 16 of his race run, and lap seven of its second stint, again on medium tyres. So far his pace has gradually gone up from mid 1m29s to low 1m31s.

13:35 Raikkonen pits the Lotus.

13:36 Raikkonen's run was 12 laps on soft tyres, averaging 1m30.7s. Quite a variation of lap times between a best of 1m29.3s on his third lap and a worst of 1m32.5s on his penultimate lap, though this was possibly when he was being overtaken by Alonso.

13:37 Alonso's first five laps on medium tyres have been remarkable consistent, all in the 1m29.7s/1m29.8s bracket.

13:37 Hamilton and Petrov pit.

13:37 We haven't seen a flying lap from Petrov yet this afternoon.

13:38 But what we have seen a lot of today is public tours of the press room. We reckon this is the 90th starting now...

13:38 Yes, that's an exaggeration.

13:38 Raikkonen is back out and now sizing up Hulkenberg's Force India for a pass.

13:39 Raikkonen has successfully passed Hulkenberg.

Petrov13:40 Now Petrov goes to start a flying lap, we reckon. The Caterham is on hard tyres.

13:43 Alonso pits from a seven-lap stint on medium tyres, mostly in mid to high 1m29s.

13:43 RRaikkonen is the fastest man out at present, doing mid 1m29.5s on softs.

13:44 AMaldonado's best lap of the day is delivered, a 1m23.430s on super softs.

13:44 That lifts him above last...

13:44 ...and puts Vettel to the back. That's a bit of a shock.

13:44 Full story of Red Bull's problems today coming soon.

13:45 Hulkenberg is onto stint three of his race simulation and has now moved from medium to soft tyres.

13:45 The only cars we haven't seen yet this afternoon are the Red Bull and the Sauber.

13:45 Ricciardo brings the Toro Rosso back out.

13:47 Wondering why Vettel is slowest and not running? Answers here:

Vettel laments lack of running

13:48 Hamilton has also come back out on track.

13:48 Maldonado pits after that sprint on super soft tyres.

13:48 The Williams did its current best of 1m23.4s, backed right off for a lap, but only managed a 1m25.3s when Maldonado went for it again. After that, he pitted.

13:49 Raikkonen is setting some good times on these soft tyres. Consistently in 1m30s and seemingly on quite a bit of fuel.

13:49 Romain Grosjean had a similar day on Friday - a very strong race simulation then a headline-grabbing qualifying simulation that put him on top of the charts too.

13:53 Alonso is back out now for Ferrari.

Tony Fernandes13:55 Caterham boss Tony Fernandes has even more on his plate now with QPR football team too, but he's in F1 mode today and at Catalunya - where his new signing Petrov has impressed him, @tonyfernandes: "Vitaly Petrov has put in a super lap. Very impressive. Well done. He's fitting in great into our team. Great attitude."

13:58 Schumacher and Kobayashi are now out on softs, Raikkonen has pitted to change from softs to hards.

13:58 After 10 laps on softs, Raikkonen's times only dropped off by 0.8s.

13:58 Ricciardo also came back into the pits a few moments ago.

13:59 Raikkonen kicks off this next stint with mid 1m28s laps.

14:03 Just under two hours left of the final pre-season test of winter 2012, and here's how they stand with plenty of race simulations underway.

14:04 Raikkonen is quickest on a 1m22.030s, with Alonso, Senna, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Hamilton, Petrov, Schumacher, Ricciardo, Maldonado and Vettel completing the field.

14:04 Vettel has only done 15 laps having gone off and broken his Red Bull's front wing, and then encountered a gearbox problem.

14:06 Raikkonen has only now dropped back into 1m29s six laps into this stint on hard tyres.

Raikkonen14:07 We're cautious about making too many predictions at this stage, but it's fair to say we'd be feeling perky if we were in the Lotus garage at the moment.

14:10 While Vettel waits for his Red Bull to get back on track, Hamilton completes his 88th lap of the day and pits. Red Bull's issues today could be a huge bonus for McLaren as both try to get to grips with the major updates they brought this weekend.

14:11 After a busy few minutes, now we just have Raikkonen on track.

14:11 Track temperature is falling consistently now, with more cloud cover over the circuit. It's down to 23.9 degrees.

14:12 Didn't stay calm for long - McLaren, Williams and Toro Rosso all send their cars back out.

14:17 Alonso comes out too, and @InsideFerrari tells us the plan: "Long runs to test tyres are in the afternoon's menu"

14:17 Medium tyres for Alonso at the moment.

14:18 Maldonado, again on super softs, does his fastest time so far with a 1m23.347s, which moves him ahead of Ricciardo and into ninth.

McLaren14:18 Hamilton's last stints saw him average 1m30.6s over 11 laps on softs, with pace drop-off of 2.5s and 2.2s.

14:20 Raikkonen, by contrast, did a 1m30.8s average on a 12 lap stint on the same tyres, with a drop-off of just 1.6s. Slightly slower, but more consistent.

14:20 Maldonado ends another short run on super softs and pits.

14:21 So readers, how about one more question for you as Live testing coverage for 2012 ends towards its final hour...

14:22 Ten years ago, Allan McNish was starting his sadly short F1 career with Toyota, and he just posted this message on his @AllanMcNish twitter feed: "So who is reading what into Barcelona #f1 testing times? Anyone betting on a Willliams or Sauber to win the first grand Prix? #usualsuspects"

14:24 We all know testing is hard to read, but which results from this winter - whether shock fast times or apparent struggles - do you think are 'real'? And which do you hope turn out to be real even if they might not be? Email live@autosport.com and let us know you what you think.

14:25 Raikkonen has now drifted back into 1m31s on hard tyres, 16 laps into this stint.

14:26 All week we've kept an eye on what Timo Glock has been up to while not testing the not-passed-its-crash-tests-in-time 2012 Marussia. After his weekend of cycling in picturesque places, eating great food, following testing coverage and watching boxing, @realTimoGlock is now bound for the factory: "Soon off to the airport fly out to England tonight to the team!"

empty garageSpeaking of absentees, here's an empty garage where a 2012 HRT was supposed to be...

14:28 Red flag at Catalunya.

14:28 We're just scanning the track to see who's caused the problem.

14:29 Kobayashi's Sauber is off the road at the exit of Turn 4.

14:30 No damage, it seems the car just stopped.

14:31 As the track crew gets to work, let's have a look at the live@autosport.com mailbox and see some of your thoughts about which testing results are 'real' and which you really hope turn out to be...

14:32 Zack from Kenya like the look of today's pacesetter - "I certainly believe Kimi is in excellent form to challenge for the top three places, no doubt" - and is crossing his fingers for Massa too.

14:34 Selim says: "I think the most realistic results belong to Mercedes and McLaren. But the only thing I can put my money on, is the top four teams will be very tight in the first race. But from now, only God knows who will win the first race."

14:35 Back to that picture of the empty HRT garage from a moment ago - the team is still hoping it can run its 2012 car in a 'filming' day before Melbourne. Even though this will mean very limited mileage and 'demonstration' spec tyres, Pedro de la Rosa reckons it could make a huge difference:

De la Rosa pins hopes on filming day

14:38 Sebastien from France also likes today's results: "I really hope to see Lotus still at the top of the timesheets. It would be great for both Romain and Kimi. And as well for the entire team, which suffered so much last year."

14:39 Clive from Lincolnshire doesn't think many of the testing 'shocks' will turn out to be real: "I believe the usual suspects will be at the sharp end of the grid in Melbourne. The spread of times in testing hasn't been very wide, which suggests to me that the front-runners are keeping their powder dry.

"Speaking of keeping things dry, it's a good job they're not testing at Cadwell Park; it's snowing here in Lincolnshire this afternoon."

14:39 F1 cars at Cadwell Park... pretty high up our list of 'ridiculous but cool things we'd like to see in motorsport' now you mention it.

14:39 We'll be back to green soon, the Sauber is now on the back of the recovery truck.

14:41 We've just been having a fascinating conversation with AUTOSPORT's technical correspondent Gary Anderson. There will be plenty of his analysis in the mega season preview in the next issue of AUTOSPORT magazine.

14:42 And you can also check out an analysis of Red Bull and McLaren's relative pace in this week's issue, which is available digitally here in case your local newsagent is closed on a Sunday.

14:43 Back to green with just under 80 minutes left of winter testing.

14:46 We know everyone gets excited at this time every year, but Pirelli's @PaulHembery sums up the current paddock vibe pretty well in this tweet: "Generally great excitement in the paddock, many cars looking good, of course some might be sandbagging, but much better vibe than last year"

14:46 Raikkonen on softs, Petrov on hards, Schumacher on softs, Alonso on hards and Hamilton on unmarked tyres are first out.

14:47 And Raikkonen immediately gets into the 1m27s on what we reckon is a big-ish fuel load.

14:50 Hamilton is on track and now up to 104 laps today.

14:50 That's 89 more than Red Bull...

14:50 Alonso pits without going for a time on his hard tyres.

14:55 Raikkonen sweeps past Petrov over the line - new Lotus takes new Caterham.

14:56 Schumacher and Hamilton currently fastest men on track in 1m28s.

14:56 Alonso went back out and is in again, on same set of hard tyres.

14:56 Our Greek friends in the grandstand seem to have moved on, or at least moved their banner. But the Alonso faithful remain.

14:57 Still no sign of Red Bull rejoining after Vettel's front wing damage and gearbox problem...

14:59 With just over an hour to go of 2012's final winter test, Raikkonen is still fastest from Alonso, Senna, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Hamilton, Petrov, Schumacher, Maldonado, Ricciardo and Vettel.

14:59 We're reliably informed that the Greek fans and their banner are now at Turn 1.

15:00 Hamilton has the day's highest mileage tally with 110 laps, followed by Raikkonen on 102 laps an Alonso on 97.

15:00 Just 15 for Vettel due to Red Bull's problems.

15:01 Even Maldonado has managed 28 and he's only been in the Williams since the lunchbreak as the team split the day between him and Senna.

15:02 For the Greek fans at Turn 1: Γεια σας

Fernando Alonso15:02 Alonso goes back out, on hards again.

15:06 Schumacher is losing about 2.5s in lap time across a 10 lap stint on a set of softs at present.

15:07 Still haven't seen any improvements on morning times, but that fits the anticipated pattern, with afternoons tending to see long runs.

15:07 We asked you to email live@autosport.com and tell us which testing results you reckoned were 'real' and which you really hoped might be...

15:08 Bastian from Germany enjoyed seeing Saubers in front at times: "I think that Perez and Kobayashi will be very strong in Melbourne. The Sauber looks pretty competitive especially concerning the long runs, so I'm quite optimistic for the next season. Keep my fingers crossed."

15:10 Henri from Finland reckons the big guns will face some real threats: "There's no doubt that Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren will make the top three but Lotus, Mercedes and Force India are close and will shake the tree every now and then. Especially at the beginning of season they have their momemtum but towards the end of the season the big teams' resources will kick in and give them updates which smaller teams cannot match.

"However, Lotus's pace seem to be genuine and remember the case of Brawn a few years ago? Everybody laughed them off and said they were doing show runs. But that wasn't the case, was it?"

15:11 More good stuff from Lotus on track right now - Raikkonen pits after 15 laps on softs with a thoroughly reasonable 2s drop-off in pace across the stint.

Vitaly Petrov15:12 Petrov is out on medium tyres. The Caterham hasn't been stunningly quick today, but it has been very consistent - only losing 0.5s in pace across a stint whatever tyre it has run.

15:16 Mickey emails with his thoughts on the 'what's real/what's an illusion?' testing question, and says "I think Ferrari are sandbagging big time".

15:17 Most of Italy, and millions of fans elsewhere around the world, shares your hopes Mickey, but the evidence from Barcelona is that Ferrari does have some issues.

15:17 Its drivers have not been allowed to speak to the media this weekend (not a tremendously good sign...), but we'll be quizzing technical chief Pat Fry after the session today, so look out for news on autosport.com later.

15:18 Jason isn't just speculating, he's analysing: "I've been collecting all the data from each testing day and it would be hard to argue that the three fastest cars are not the Red Bull, Mercedes and the McLaren, most likely in that order."

15:19 Samer doesn't reckon the testing results reflect the real order at all and expects the best funded teams to run away again, but he says his wishful thought is that "Ferrari will excel and stop Red Bull's domination..."

15:22 Abdullah from Jordan points to today's results as being particularly deceptive - "although Red Bull had issues, that doesn't mean they are not reliable or fast" - and predicts that Red Bull and McLaren are the fastest teams, but thinks it's "very hard to tell" who stands where in the Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes group.

15:23 Schumacher brings the Mercedes back out. Surprisingly we haven't seen a race simulation from him this afternoon.

15:23 As ever, gallons of emails flooding into live@autosport.com with your thoughts on what is real and what is not in testing.

15:25 So, with apologies to everyone whose thoughts we're using but whose names we're not mentioning, here are the main trends among the AUTOSPORT Live readership:

* Loads of you hope and believe Lotus is extremely fast

* Most of you think Red Bull and McLaren are way quicker than they have tended to look

* Many of you hope Ferrari's quick times have been 'real'

* A lot of you are optimistic about Williams's better times from testing

15:25 Keep them coming!

15:25 Raikkonen recently finished his race simulation, covering just one lap less than a Barcelona grand prix distance.

15:26 The Finn started with 12 laps on soft, averaging 1m30.780s. Stint two was 11 laps on softs, then 19 on hards, averaging 1m29.886s across those runs, then finally 16 laps on softs with a 1m29.156s average. About 7-8s off a qualifying simulation pace.

15:26 Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Schumacher and Ricciardo are the men on track now.

Senna15:29 Our question to live@autosport.com has mostly attracted optimists so far, but here's a dose of hard realism from Slobac: "I'd say Williams's pace is really unreal. I think they're running low fuel and trying to set good times, probably to attract some sponsors. I think they're secure backmarkers."

15:30 In fairness, Slobac isn't the only pessimist among you... Mickey's hope that Ferrari is sandbagging also attracted a lot of emails that can be summarised as "no, Ferrari is slow".

15:31 Of those on track now, only Schumacher is lapping below 1m30s. The German has soft tyres on his Mercedes again, so is unlikely to be out for much more than 10 laps.

15:32 Don't think we'll see Red Bull back out. From our perch in the press room we can see rigging being taken down inside the garage. Could well be packing up.

15:32 To recap, Vettel admitted he went off the road and damaged the team's latest front wing this morning, and the car then had a gearbox problem.

15:34 Mark Webber did manage 70 laps with the revised RB8 yesterday, though. And afterwards he was somewhere between quietly confident and careful to stop talk of another Red Bull steamroller:

Webber plays down Red Bull's pace

15:34 A little excitement for Alonso fans as their man overtakes Petrov on the run to Turn 1.

15:35 Mike from Montreal says: "I think Lotus is for real and will challenge for podiums right away. As shown, Ferrari is in real trouble but Alonso will keep it near the front. I expect to see STR ahead of the midfield and although I wish Williams was for real, I think it will be near the back of the midfield."

15:36 James has a different slant on whether Williams's pace is real: "Whilst I don't think Williams will be fighting for wins, if you were searching for sponsors you don't spend the first three days of testing running high fuel and sitting in eighth place!

"I think they have improved from last year and will be a real contender for the lower points positions."

15:37 James has a point... Williams has appeared near the top a few times but also spent plenty of testing at the back. Which probably proves that testing really does mean nothing and we've been typing about 10,000 words per day in AUTOSPORT Live in vain...

15:37 But you seem to have enjoyed it, so we'll carry on for another 23 minutes.

15:37 Maldonado is back out on unmarked Pirelli, having earlier done 14 laps on softs.

15:38 To explain the unmarked Pirellis, they are extra tyres supplied by Pirelli's Turkish plant in case some natural disaster prevents flights getting out of Italy with the main load. Each team has two sets this week. There are unmarked tyres of all four compounds here. Nothing special about them, except the markings haven't been put on.

15:39 Schumacher's tyres ARE marked, we know they're softs, we therefore predicted he would do about 10 laps on them, and were right... he pits after nine laps. Drop-off was big again, from early low 1m28s to a mid 1m31s at the end.

15:41 Raikkonen is back out on soft tyres, after a short break following his race simulation.

15:41 No time for another long run now, so will this be a glory run for the man already on top?

15:41 Red flag.

15:41 Only Raikkonen and Petrov on track.

15:41 It's Petrov, the Caterham is stopped at Turn 4.

15:42 One thing that is definitely 'real' from testing: F1 fans' loyalty to their favourite teams. Any remotely negative readers' comments that we publish on AUTOSPORT Live about a particular team certainly get a lot of defensive emails in reply!

15:43 Petrov has managed to find his way to the edge of the gravel and almost to the barrier at Turn 4.

15:43 Obviously at this stage we can't be sure if it was driver error or something broke on the car.

15:44 A.Rahman Almokla says: "I think that AUTOSPORT Live's performance is not real, and you are sandbagging your true potential for 2012."

15:45 Absolutely right! Come Melbourne, we'll be up to 12,000 words per day in Live! We've been running heavy fuel all along...

15:46 This is Charles from Indiana's summary of what is real/not real in testing: "Lotus is Toyota from 2009. Ferrari are terrible. McLaren and Red Bull have the fastest cars, but Rosberg will one-up his father by winning the championship without actually winning a grand prix. Also: Ferrari are terrible , and that's funny."

15:47 Angry Ferrari fans, direct your wrath at Indiana, not AUTOSPORT Live, please...

15:48 Christian thinks McLaren's progress is genuine, that Red Bull is "the hardest one to call" and is a bit doubtful about the days when Sauber has been quickest: "I'm not sure about Sauber. They have been 'fast' at tests before (sponsor advertising?) but not shown the same pace in races."

15:49 Speaking of Sauber, @OfficialSF1Team brings both bad news and optimism in a single tweet: "Despite having had to stop 90 minutes early today (engine), the Sauber F1 team and Kamui feel ready for Melbourne."

15:50 Petrov's Caterham has been cleared.

15:50 Sauber managed just 12 laps before that engine problem this afternoon, but did 60 this morning.

15:51 The rigging may be down at Red Bull, but the car is being fired up again.

15:51 Green flag, and Vettel is first to leave the pits.

15:52 There's a little bit of rain falling outside now too.

15:52 Vettel is on medium tyres.

15:52 So a troubled day, not-too-soft tyres, rain in the air, currently at the back... really for maximum drama value we now need Vettel to blast straight to the top, don't we?

15:53 Though that would also be pretty depressing for everyone else.

15:53 Alonso, Maldonado and Ricciardo are out too with seven minutes to go.

15:53 Lots of people emailing live@autosport.com with very generous praise for our Live testing coverage. Thanks for joining us! And remember AUTOSPORT Live also commentates on all sessions and races at grands prix too.

15:55 Harry Garbutt even points out that as the "only source on what's happening" (his words!), we could "lie about anything and we'd still believe it!"

15:55 We wouldn't...

15:55 Vettel does a personal best in sector one but does not improve on his morning time.

15:55 Raikkonen is out on super softs, but won't be deposing himself with them - his pace is a second off his morning best. Pirelli did tell us earlier that Barcelona is more suited to the softs than super softs.

15:56 Vettel's time was a 1m24.300s, 0.7s down on earlier.

15:58 Lotus, Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams, Toro Rosso and Red Bull all out... well, Ricciardo pits now... but not looking like anyone will do anything dramatic.

15:58 Vettel's time is up to 1m24.9s now.

15:59 Lotus might just be looking at super soft tyre wear - Raikkonen's pace is already two seconds slower than on his first lap five laps ago.

15:59 Raikkonen's still going quicker than Alonso is on hards though.

15:59 Track temperature is now lower than at any time since first thing - it's 18.9 degrees. But while it's also raining a bit, it's nowhere near hard enough to be an issue for slicks.

15:59 Christian Horner wanders out to the pitwall to see how his beloved RB8 is getting on.

16:00 It's not going that quick, Christian, but it's probably full of fuel and you'll go and beat everyone with it in a fortnight.

16:00 Or maybe not...

16:00 Chequered flag, pre-season testing 2012 is all over.

16:00 We're more exhausted than we were at the end of Interlagos last year.

16:01 So testing ends as it began: with Raikkonen fastest.

16:01 Final order for the final day: Raikkonen, Alonso, Senna, Hulkenberg, Kobayashi, Hamilton, Petrov, Schumacher, Maldonado, Ricciardo and Vettel.

16:01 Everyone within 1.5s, but plenty of different programmes going on in there.

16:02 Raikkonen also completed more laps than anyone else today: 120.

16:02 But also doing plenty were Ferrari (114), Force India (101), McLaren (115), Caterham (101) and Toro Rosso (100).

16:03 Lowest tally was Vettel's: front wing damage and a gearbox problem meant just 23 laps for Red Bull.

16:03 Does that mean the champion team faces a disastrous Melbourne? We'd be very surprised...

16:03 Does Lotus being on top for three out of four days this week mean Raikkonen will be world champion in his comeback season? Probably not... but that car does look pretty handy.

16:04 Keep checking AUTOSPORT for all the news tonight and plenty of analysis both online and in the magazine between now and Melbourne.

16:05 Thank you for your company this winter. It's been more enjoyable than typing about 10,000 words per day about F1 cars going around by themselves really ought to be.

16:05 AUTOSPORT Live will resume for first practice in Melbourne, see you then.

  FASTEST TIMES
P Driver Team Time
1  RaikkonenLotus 1m22.030s
2  AlonsoFerrari 1m22.250s  +0.220
3  SennaWilliams 1m22.296s  +0.266
4  HulkenbergForce India 1m22.312s  +0.282
5  KobayashiSauber 1m22.386s  +0.356
6  HamiltonMcLaren 1m22.430s  +0.400
7  PetrovCaterham 1m22.795s  +0.765
8  SchumacherMercedes 1m22.939s  +0.909
9  MaldonadoWilliams 1m23.347s  +1.317
10  RicciardoToro Rosso 1m23.393s  +1.363
11  VettelRed Bull 1m23.608s  +1.578
All timing unofficial. Updated: 16:03 GMT
  OVERVIEW DAY FOUR  
  CURRENT WEATHER
Mainly sunny High Temp: 15°C / 59°F
Track: Dry
  INFOBOX
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