Barcelona testing: Rosberg keeps Mercedes ahead on day four of the final test

Nico Rosberg set the fastest time on the fourth and final day of the last pre-season test in Barcelona.

The Mercedes driver set a faster time that teammate Lewis Hamilton had on day three and managed to complete 131 laps.

Fernando Alonso was second fastest for Ferrari after setting a time on a soft set of tyres and was another driver to break into triple figures for laps completed after managing 120.

The team had been running a new exhaust for the first time today after bringing updates prior to Melbourne.

The McLaren of Jenson Button was third fastest on the last day after completing 122 laps. The car looks much more competitive than it did at the last pre-season test last week.

Nico Hulkenberg set the fourth fastest time for Sauber in the morning session and focused on a race simulation in the afternoon. He managed 118 laps for the team and showed reasonable pace.

Kimi Raikkonen was back in the car today after illness yesterday but his morning running was limited after a gearbox problem meant the unit having to be replaced. His fastest time was still enough for fifth on the timesheets but he only completed 50 laps.

Paul di Resta set the sixth fastest time for Force India, only marginally slower than Raikkonen’s time. He like many others focused on long runs in the afternoon amassing 112 laps.

Williams once again split their running between both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas with Maldonado setting the seventh fastest time and Bottas the ninth fastest time. Together they completed 73 laps.

Sebastian Vettel set the eighth fastest time for Red Bull and also broke into triple figures with 100 laps completed. Behind him Charles Pic was 10th in the Caterham on a more positive day of running for them.

Marussia split their running between both drivers with Jules Bianchi setting the 11th fastest time and 62 laps whilst Max Chilton set the 13th fastest time and managed 49 laps but was almost a second slower than his new teammate.

Daniel Ricciardo set the 12th fastest time for Toro Rosso and completed 91 laps after focusing on longer runs in the afternoon session.

The final day of testing marks two weeks until the first race of the season in Melbourne.

The final test has seen a pecking order begin to emerge and I will be taking a further look at where each of the teams are in my team-by-team analysis next week.

Starting from next week I will also be providing 2013 previews for each team looking back at 2012, their driver line-ups for 2013 and what pre-season testing has suggested.

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