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Mercedes make headway as Massa leads on third day in Jerez - Ferrari become the third team at the top of the timesheets on Day 3

Published by Christine

Vettel rolls out in the RB9
Vettel rolls out in the RB9Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Nico Rosberg takes a breather
Nico Rosberg takes a breatherCredit: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Esteban into the light
Esteban into the lightCredit: Sauber Motorsport AG
The ever-so colourful Charles Pic
The ever-so colourful Charles PicCredit: Caterham F1 / Creative Commons

All eyes were on Mercedes today as they finally managed to get some serious mileage under their belts. With Nico Rosberg back on duty, the F1 W04 was finally put through its paces, as the German completed 148 laps and ended the day in a much more positive frame of mind.

It wasn't all good news at Jerez, however, as Force India driver James Rossiter managed to miss his cue in the pitlane, didn't hit the brakes in time, and crashed into a mechanic. The front jack man was thrown up into the air, but after a quick visit to the medical centre he was declared fully fit, just a bit bruised and understandably quite shaken!

Meanwhile, in terms of times, Felipe Massa got to the top of the leaderboard with the fastest time we have seen all week, dropping into the 1:17s. The Brazilian was understated about his performance though.

We had a lot of items to test and the car went well, it was not difficult to drive and it seemed to me to be quite stable and balanced. Today, we fitted the soft compound tyres for the first time and I went faster than I had expected.

- Felipe Massa, Ferrari

Kimi Räikkönen made a start to his 2013 campaign, taking over the driving duties from Romain Grosjean. He completed 40 laps, after the car came to an early halt. Paul di Resta only managed seven, but he was sharing his track day and the car also developed an exhaust problem in the afternoon.

2013 Testing - Day 3, Jerez
1Felipe MassaFerrari1:17.87985
2Nico RosbergMercedes1:18.766148
3Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:19.052102
4Kimi RäikkönenLotus1:19.20040
5Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso1:19.24785
6James RossiterForce India1:19.30342
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:19.60383
8Esteban GutiérrezSauber1:19.934110
9Max ChiltonMarussia1:21.26978
10Valtteri BottasWilliams1:21.57586
11Charles PicCaterham1:22.35257
12Paul di RestaForce India1:23.7297

Three drivers completed over 100 laps today, with Sebastian Vettel putting in some solid work as he took over from Mark Webber. In the sister car, Jean-Éric Vergne was behind the wheel of the STR8 for the first time, and fifth isn't all that bad for Toro Rosso.

Also notable today was Pirelli's disappointment with the test so far, as motorsport director Paul Hembery has complained about the lack of useful information, the increased shredding of tyres due to the track, and the general surface of the tarmac.

Jerez surface ever more aggressive, big increase in macro roughness, so graining/abrasion high. Hard to work with from tyre perspective. Jerez was always a good circuit to push tyre compounds, but now looking too far out of line compared to other tracks.

PaulHembery PaulHembery

Had a very productive day for the team and my self, lots of laps which is always good and great to see the new car's potential at the end!

maxchilton maxchilton

A productive day for us - the track is very aggressive on tyres so we switched our main focus to aero work with @valtteribottas today #Jerez

WilliamsF1Team WilliamsF1Team

So, another day's testing has come to a conclusion. Clutch woes meant early Earl Grey for us.

Lotus_F1Team Lotus_F1Team

Tomorrow is the final day of this first four-day test, and there are still a few changes to be made in the cars. Hamilton will be back in action for Mercedes, hoping for some of the luck Rosberg had today. Pedro de la Rosa will make his testing debut for Ferrari, whilst Force India are meant to be giving Jules Bianchi a run in what very well could be his race seat. All that and the sun continues to shine!

All content in the series 2013 F1 pre-season testing