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Damp weather brings first week of Barcelona testing to a close // Lewis Hamilton leads the way as Williams concentrate on pitstops

Published by Christine Blachford

Hamilton heading straight to the top
Hamilton heading straight to the topCredit: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Pit stop practice down at Williams
Pit stop practice down at WilliamsCredit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic
Webber consistently chilly
Webber consistently chillyCredit: Mark Thompson
A stroll in the park for Grosjean
A stroll in the park for GrosjeanCredit: Andrew Ferraro/LAT

Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time of the final day of testing this week, making the most of some dry running in the middle of the day, before the rain hit once again. Most of the teams had been expecting the inclement conditions so it wasn't a surprise, and they had contingency plans in pace. Lotus ran a relaxed session, trying out the intermediate tyres, whilst Williams brought the full race crew in for some pitstop practice.

Both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas were in action at the Circuit de Catalunya today, but neither driver set a full lap time. Instead the pair were diving in and out of the pit lane, making the most of the time with the race team.

The key things to work on as a driver are breaking as late as possible for the pitlane speed limit to minimise the time lost, perfecting your positioning in the box and finally pulling away quickly and cleanly. It’s really interesting as there are a lot of things to think about, but the better I get, the more trust you build with the pit crew which means they are able to react even quicker.

- Valtteri Bottas,Williams

Elsewhere, Jenson Button wound up behind his former teammate, second fastest of the day for McLaren. Giedo van der Garde pulled Caterham off the bottom of the timesheets, whilst Red Bull and Ferrari both seemed to have more on their minds than flat out pace.

2013 Testing - Day 4, Barcelona
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:23.28252
2Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:23.63370
3Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso1:24.07180
4Jules BianchiForce India1:25.73296
5Esteban GutiérrezSauber1:26.23961
6Giedo van der GardeCaterham1:27.42950
7Felipe MassaFerrari1:27.56380
8Mark WebberRed Bull1:27.61664
9Max ChiltonMarussia1:29.90251
10Romain GrosjeanLotus1:34.80041
11Valtteri BottasWilliamsNo time23
12Pastor MaldonadoWilliamsNo time13

Force India ran their second seat contender day, in the shape of Jules Bianchi who continued his strong performance in testing for the team. Jean-Éric Vergne also made the most of the tricky conditions to get a fast time out of the STR8.

Meanwhile, Pirelli released some more fact and figures from their week of testing, and more than anything it has an air of frustration about it. For the second test week in a row, the tyre suppliers have not been able to gather the data they wanted - in Jerez, the tyre surface wasn't what they'd hoped, and now, in Barcelona, the temperatures have been lower than anticipated. In answer to a tweet about hailing earlier, Paul Hembery said: "I guess that is why we call it winter testing."

New experience for me today in the wet.. Was not easy but useful!. Good 2 day's, next week again.. I keep pushing

GvanderGarde GvanderGarde

Pitstop morning report: crew happy, consistent times& Valtteri's positioning in the box this morning was good - much improved from last year

WilliamsF1Team WilliamsF1Team

Whatsup! Been a miserable day of weather but we got most of our program done. Still got plenty of work to do but we on it!!

LewisHamilton LewisHamilton

It's been raining heavily during the lunch break so it's a very damp track we will rejoin but good for testing the wet tyres & also KERS

Marussia_F1Team Marussia_F1Team

There's just one more week of testing left to go, a further four days at the Circuit de Catalunya that begin late next week. It may or may not be a little bit warmer then, and it will be the last chance for teams to test out bits and pieces on their car before deciding what to ship to Australia. Exciting times!

All content in the series 2013 F1 pre-season testing

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F1 team launches
McLaren HondaOnline29 Jan
Sauber F1 TeamOnline30 Jan
Scuderia FerrariOnline30 Jan
Scuderia Toro RossoJerez, Spain31 Jan
Infiniti Red Bull RacingJerez, Spain1 Feb
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 TeamJerez, Spain1 Feb
Williams Martini RacingJerez, Spain1 Feb
Lotus F1 TeamJerez, Spain2 Feb
Sahara Force India F1 TeamOnline25 Feb
F1 test schedule
Circuito de JerezSpain1 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain2 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain3 Feb
Circuito de JerezSpain4 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain19 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain20 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain21 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain22 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain26 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain27 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain28 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain1 Mar

On this day in F1 history