Fernando Alonso led the way in his first outing for Ferrari on day three of this year’s first Formula One test in Valencia. More than 30,000 fans turned up on the final test day to watch their local hero Alonso and he didn't disappoint. He quickly got up to speed following his close season team switch.
Alonso was fastest for almost all of the day, edging Pedro de la Rosa’s Sauber and Mercedes' Michael Schumacher. More worrying for Alonso's rivals was not the time he did, but the fact it came so early into a long stint - as he completed eight further laps following that effort.
After the first three days of testing at the Valencia circuit, the Ferrari team emerged as the dominant force, topping the times for three days in a row.
With Alonso being the quickest man of the week, he was closely followed by team-mate Felipe Massa. The Ferrari duo were the only drivers to lap the Valencia circuit in less than 72 seconds.
BMW Sauber followed Ferrari on the combined timesheets, while McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was fifth quickest overall. McLaren's defending world champion Jenson Button was almost a second and a half off the pace, although differing fuel levels may explain at least some of the gap.
Unofficial times from day three:
1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 1m11.470s
2 Pedro de la Rosa (Sauber) +0.624
3 Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) +0.968
4 Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) +1.106
5 Jenson Button (McLaren) +1.481
6 Vitaly Petrov (Renault) +1.627
7 Nico Hulkenberg (Williams) +2.199