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It was a case of 'zeroes to heroes' for Mercedes as the German outfit put the memory of the opening days at Jerez fully in the shade by posting the quickest and third quickest times at Barcelona ahead of the season opener.
The shambles that was those first two days at Jerez, when Nico Rosberg's car caught fire and Lewis Hamilton crashed out after just a handful of laps, were but a distant memory today as the German emulated his teammate's pace from yesterday to keep the silver cars atop the timesheets - ominously split by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.
While some believe Red Bull will have the edge in Australia, the Austrian team yet to fully show its hand, there is no doubt that Mercedes is in much better shape than it was twelve months ago and will head down under feeling mighty confident.
Rosberg's programme focused on set-up evaluations over short runs in the morning and longer runs this afternoon. His fastest time of the day was set during the morning session on the soft compound tyres. He completed a further 131 laps today, which was the highest mileage recorded today, just under two race distances.
"I'm pleased with our pre-season testing programme," said the German. "We have achieved a lot of mileage and I can feel that the balance of the car is good.
"I have the general feeling that we are in a better position than in the second half of last year," he continued, "but this is testing not racing, of course. The conditions in the first race will be completely different to here as it will be much hotter in Melbourne and Sepang so we need to wait and see.
"Thanks to the team here at the track and back home at the factory for all their hard work over the last month. I hope it pays off and we can look forward to a positive season ahead together."
"With the conclusion of our testing programme, I am pleased with the progress that the team has made over the last month and the steps forward that have been made with the car," added Ross Brawn. "We have achieved our objectives for the test programme and the mileage that we have been able to complete has been very satisfying.
"Lewis has settled into the team extremely well and everyone has enjoyed working with both him and Nico throughout the three tests. We now have one final week back at the factory to complete our preparations; both drivers will be at the factory this week and, as always, there is a lot of work to do in a short space of time.
"We're realistic about our performance here," he concluded, "and our position once we get to Melbourne, and we look forward to the challenge of a new season ahead."
In the morning, Fernando Alonso made progress with the development of the F138, working on different car set-ups and comparisons between the various types of tyre - including some experimental ones brought to the Circuit de Catalunya by Pirelli.
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