Barcelona: Finland's Kimi Raikkonen registered the fastest time in Formula One testing so far this season on the third day of the second test in Barcelona.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen beat teammate Sebastian Vettel's previous best time from last week on ultrasoft tyres in 1min 22.765sec.
Even more encouragingly for Ferrari, Raikkonen even beat the best time posted so far by dominant world champions Mercedes on the soft tyre compound.
Force India impress
German Nico Hulkenberg was second quickest as Force India continued to show good pre-season pace with Dutch teenager Max Verstappen third for Toro Rosso.
Mercedes again refused to show their real speed on the penultimate day of testing before the opening race weekend of the season in Australia on March 20. Nico Rosberg posted another 80 laps in fourth fastest on the medium tyres.
Red hot: Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen drives at the Circuit de Catalunya during the third day of Formula One testing at Barcelona, Spain yesterday. Pic/AFP
Meanwhile, the format for the new qualifying system for F1 races will be decided today after a meeting of FIA, it was revealed on Wednesday.
A new knock-out qualifying format for the upcoming 2016 season had been adopted at a meeting of the F1 Commission in Geneva.
However, a new meeting took place at the second pre-season test in Barcelona on Tuesday between team bosses and FIA race director Charlie Whiting after complaints were raised at the measures adopted. The idea remains to introduce more excitement to the sport after two years of domination by Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.
There are concerns that the technology for the system, whereby the slowest driver will be knocked out at 90-second intervals, may not be ready in time for qualifying for the opening race.