Alonso sets the pace on day 3

Updated: February 21, 2013

Double world champion Fernando Alonso laid down a marker ahead of the new season as he clocked the fastest time on day 3 of testing at the Catalunya circuit in Barcelona.

Alonso clocked 1min 21.875sec off a total of 97 laps stressing he will be a threat this season. The Spaniard sat out the first session in Jerez 2 weeks ago however showed that unlike last year that Ferrari is ready to mount a challenge from the first race of the new season in Australia.

Nico Hulkenberg, in a Sauber, was second fastest with 1min 22.160sec with Romain Grosjean, in a Lotus, coming home with the third best time of 1min 22.188sec off 119 laps.

Alonso, the runner-up to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel last season, improved his time from Tuesday by a second and was just short of the week’s best time of 1min 21.848sec set by Sergio Perez in the McLaren yesterday.

1. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari) 1:22.301
2. Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Williams) 1:22.675
3. Mark Webber (AUS/Red Bull) 1:23.406
4. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus) 1:24.376
5. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) 1:24.530
6. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso) 1:25.577
7. Adrian Sutil (GER/Force India) 1:25.936
8. Nico Huelkenberg (GER/Sauber) 1:27.153
9. Giedo van der Garde (NED/Caterham) 1:27.344
10. Max Chilton (GBR/Marussia) 1:35.802
11. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes) 1:37.079