Jerez testing: Massa leads the way on day three as Mercedes make up for lost time

Felipe Massa set the fastest time on day three of the first pre-season test in Jerez.

The Brazilian set the time in the morning session on Thursday and the time, set on the soft tyre, is the fastest time seen all week.

Nico Rosberg set the second fastest time on Thursday as he racked up the laps in an attempt to combat Mercedes disappointing start to testing.

The German managed 148 laps of the Jerez circuit after only managing 14 laps on Tuesday.

Sebastian Vettel got his first taste of the RB9 and an improvement in the afternoon saw him post the third fastest time. Vettel managed 102 laps but failed to set a time in the 1m18s.

Kimi Raikkonen got his first taste of the E21 setting the fourth fastest time ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso.

Force India fielded both simulator driver James Rossiter and Paul di Resta on day three. Rossiter set the sixth fastest time after completing 42 laps whilst a exhaust issue left Di Resta with the 12th fastest time after just 12 laps.

Jenson Button set the seventh fastest time after his day ended early after he stopped out on track between turns 7 and 8. Behind him Sauber’s new driver Esteban Gutierrez was eighth ahead of Max Chilton in ninth.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was 10th ahead of Charles Pic who set the 11th fastest time in the Caterham.

It should be remembered that the times set in testing are unlikely to be a true gauge of each cars performance.

The first pre-season test ends tomorrow.

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